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Do fiscal responsibility laws matter? Evidence from emerging market economies suggests not


  • John Thornton


This paper asks whether the adoption of fiscal responsibility laws (FRLs) has improved fiscal performance in nine emerging market economies, as measured by developments in their key fiscal balances. Examining these economies alone, their fiscal performance improved on average between the period before FLRs were adopted and the period after they were adopted. However, emerging market economies that did not adopt FLRs also experienced improvements in their fiscal performance around the same time. The finding suggests that the better fiscal performance in the nine emerging market economies resulted from something other than the adoption of FLRs.

Suggested Citation

  • John Thornton, 2009. "Do fiscal responsibility laws matter? Evidence from emerging market economies suggests not," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 127-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecprf:v:12:y:2009:i:2:p:127-132 DOI: 10.1080/17487870902872912

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gustavo Yamada, 2006. "Retornos a la educación superior en el mercado laboral: ¿Vale la pena el esfuerzo?," Working Papers 06-13, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    3. Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Nora Lustig, 2005. "The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14844.
    4. Gustavo Yamada & Juan Francisco Castro, 2007. "Poverty, inequality, and social policies in Peru: As poor as it gets," Working Papers 07-06, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    5. Juan F. Castro & Gustavo Yamada, 2006. "Evaluación de estrategias de desarrollo para alcanzar los objetivos del milenio en América Latina," Working Papers 06-11, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yener Altunbaş & John Thornton, 2017. "Why Do Countries Adopt Fiscal Rules?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(1), pages 65-87, January.
    2. Santiago Lago-Peñas & Jorge Martínez-Vázquez & Agnese Sacchi, 2018. "Fiscal stability during the great recesion: Putting decentralization design to the test," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1806, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    3. Carlos Caceres & Leandro Medina, 2012. "Measures of Fiscal Risk in Hydrocarbon-Exporting Countries," IMF Working Papers 12/260, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Kollias, Christos & Papadamou, Stephanos & Psarianos, Iacovos, 2014. "Fiscal imbalances and asymmetric adjustment under Labour and Conservative governments in the UK," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 208-213.

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    fiscal responsibility laws; fiscal policy;


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