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Governance structures and the durability of economic reforms: Evidence from inflation stabilizations

  • Ball, Richard
  • Rausser, Gordon

This paper investigates the relationship between a country's political-economic and institutional environment, and its ability to implement sustainable economic reform programs. The policy issue on which the study focuses is inflation stabilization. It consists principally of econometric estimations of the relationship between the success of stabilizations in a large sample of countries and several political and economic explanatory variables. The hypotheses tested are drawn both from the recent macroeconomic literature on policy credibility and from political science. The major findings include the following: (1) Despite the "conventional wisdom" to the contrary, political repression does not appear to be an effective means for implementing sustainable stabilization policies. Durable economic reforms and political freedoms appear to be complementary. (2) As has been previously argued theoretically and demonstrated empirically, political instability is detrimental to policy reform. (3) The political will and popular consensus for stabilization policies are enhanced during a severe economic crisis. (4) There is weak evidence that intervention by the IMF, rather than supporting reform programs, can undermine their credibility.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 23 (1995)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 897-912

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:23:y:1995:i:6:p:897-912
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  2. Haggard, Stephan & Webb, Steven B, 1993. "What Do We Know about the Political Economy of Economic Policy Reform?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 143-68, July.
  3. Dani Rodrik, 1988. "Promises, Promises: Credible Policy Reform via Signaling," NBER Working Papers 2600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephan Haggard & Robert Kaufman, 1989. "The Politics of Stabilization and Structural Adjustment," NBER Chapters, in: Developing Country Debt and the World Economy, pages 263-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Sebastian Edwards & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "Explaining Fiscal Policies and Inflation in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 3493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thomas J. Sargent, 1982. "The Ends of Four Big Inflations," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation: Causes and Effects, pages 41-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 403-14, July.
  10. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  11. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1990. "Credibility and Stabilization," CEPR Discussion Papers 454, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Alesina, Alberto, 1992. "Political models of macroeconomic policy and fiscal reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 970, The World Bank.
  13. Ruttan, Vernon W., 1989. "What Happened to Political Development?," Bulletins 7462, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  14. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "External Debt and Macroeconomic Performance in Latin America and East Asia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(2), pages 523-573.
  15. Cukierman, Alex & Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 537-55, June.
  16. Nelson, Joan M., 1984. "The political economy of stabilization: Commitment, capacity, and public response," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(10), pages 983-1006, October.
  17. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  18. Blackburn, Keith & Christensen, Michael, 1989. "Monetary Policy and Policy Credibility: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 1-45, March.
  19. Rodrik, Dani, 1990. "How should structural adjustment programs be designed?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 933-947, July.
  20. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  21. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-78, August.
  22. Scully, Gerald W, 1988. "The Institutional Framework and Economic Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 652-62, June.
  23. Rudiger Dornbusch & Ferico Sturzenegger & Holger Wolf, 1990. "Extreme Inflation: Dynamics and Stabilization," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 1-84.
  24. repec:fth:harver:1496 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Ahamed, Liaquat, 1986. "Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 1(1), pages 79-110, January.
  26. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  27. Haggard, Stephan, 1985. "The politics of adjustment: lessons from the IMF's Extended Fund Facility," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 505-534, June.
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