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Signaling fiscal regime sustainability

  • Drudi, Francesco
  • Prati, Alessandro

This paper proposes a signaling model of fiscal stabilizations that offers a new perspective on why governments deviate from optimal tax smoothing. In our model, dependable - but not fully credible - governments have an incentive to tighten the fiscal regime when the signaling effect on credit ratings is larger (that is, when a sufficiently large stock of debt has been accumulated). At this point, they may deviate from tax smoothing in order to avoid being mimicked by weak governments. We show that a testable prediction of our model is that primary balances and debt stocks are complementary inputs in the credit rating function and we successfully test it on Irish, Belgian, and Danish data from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 44 (2000)
Issue (Month): 10 (December)
Pages: 1897-1930

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:44:y:2000:i:10:p:1897-1930
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  16. Harold L. Cole & James Dow & William B. English, 1994. "Default, settlement, and signalling: lending resumption in a reputational model of sovereign debt," Staff Report 180, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  19. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 1284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative Would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-45, May.
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  22. Cukierman, Alex & Liviatan, Nissan, 1991. "Optimal accommodation by strong policymakers under incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 99-127, February.
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  24. Sutherland, Alan, 1997. "Fiscal crises and aggregate demand: can high public debt reverse the effects of fiscal policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 147-162, August.
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  26. Luigi Spaventa, 1987. "The Growth of Public Debt: Sustainability, Fiscal Rules, and Monetary Rules," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(2), pages 374-399, June.
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