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Visibility and Credibility in the Political Economy of Reform

Author

Listed:
  • Chris Canavan

    (Boston College)

  • Mariano Tommasi

    (UCLA and Universidad de San Andres)

Abstract

We investigate the interplay between government credibility and the visibility of policy-making, using the choice of a nominal anchor as an important example of how governments control visibility. We show that visibility has an important influence on how governments acquire credibility, and for this reason is a variable that governments use strategically. Policy-makers with stronger commitment to reform opt for more visible policies (e.g., an exchange-rate anchor) whereas policy-makers who cannot carry through with serious reform opt for noisier signals (e.g., a money anchor). Our logic is that greater visibility makes it easier for the public to learn the government's preferences, and only policy- makers committed to reform want this to happen. Among other things, our analysis provides a rationale for the prevalence of temporary exchange-rate targets in inflation-stabilization programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Canavan & Mariano Tommasi, 1997. "Visibility and Credibility in the Political Economy of Reform," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 346., Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:346
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    File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-P/wp346.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 1991. "Stopping High Inflation; An Analytical Overview," IMF Working Papers 91/107, International Monetary Fund.
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    3. Shantayanan Devarajan & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Do the Benefits of Fixed Exchange Rates Outweigh Their Costs? The Franc Zone in Africa," NBER Working Papers 3727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1991. "The Advantage of Tying One's Hands: EMS Discipline and Central Bank Credibility," NBER Chapters,in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 303-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Paul R Masson & Morris Goldstein & Jacob A. Frenkel, 1991. "Characteristics of a Successful Exchange Rate System," IMF Occasional Papers 82, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
    9. Agenor, Pierre-Richard, 1994. "Credibility and exchange rate management in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-16, October.
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    11. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andres, 1995. "Money-Based Versus Exchange Rate-Based Stabilization with Endogenous Fiscal Policy," Working Papers 95-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    12. Vickers, John, 1986. "Signalling in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 443-455, November.
    13. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carlos A. Végh, 1994. "Inflation Stabilization And Nominal Anchors," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(2), pages 35-45, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodriguez, Cesar M., 2016. "Economic and political determinants of exchange rate regimes: The case of Latin America," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 1-26.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    macroeconomic policy; credibility;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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