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Signaling Fiscal Regime Sustainability

  • Drudi, F.
  • Prati, A.

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 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 sucessfully test it on Irish , Belgian, and Danish data from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.

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Paper provided by Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi in its series Papers with number 335.

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Length: 74 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:banita:335
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Banca d'Italia-Servizio Studi-Divisione Biblioteca e Pubblicazioni - Via N azionale, 91 -00184 Rome, Italy.

Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it/

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  1. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  2. 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.
  3. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1989. "Sustainable plans and mutual default," Staff Report 124, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. F. Giavazzi & M. Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of two Small Euopean Countries," Working Papers 89, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  6. Cukierman, A. & Liviatan, N., 1989. "Optimal Accommodation By Strong Policymakers Under Incomplete Information," Papers 13-89, Tel Aviv.
  7. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
  9. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  10. 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.
  11. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  12. Robert J. Barro, 1986. "Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 1794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  14. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1989. "Sustainable plans," Staff Report 122, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Alessandro Prati & Guido Tabellini, 1989. "Public Confidence and Debt Management: A Model and A Case Study of Italy," NBER Working Papers 3135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116.
  17. Giuseppe Bertola & Allan Drazen, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," NBER Working Papers 3844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Cole, Harold L & Dow, James & English, William B, 1995. "Default, Settlement, and Signalling: Lending Resumption in a Reputational Model of Sovereign Debt," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 365-85, May.
  19. 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.
  20. Alessandro Prati & Francesco Drudi, 1999. "Signaling Fiscal Regime Sustainability," IMF Working Papers 99/86, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Alessandro Missale & Francesco Giavazzi & Pierpaolo Benigno, . "Managing the Public Debt in Fiscal Stabilizations: the Evidence," Working Papers 118, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  22. Vickers, John, 1986. "Signalling in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 443-55, November.
  23. Stokey, Nancy L., 1991. "Credible public policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 627-656, October.
  24. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "Fiscal Expansions and Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 5214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Herschel I. Grossman & John B. Van Huyck, 1985. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 1673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Drudi, Francesco & Prati, Alessandro, 1993. "Signalling Debt Sustainability," CEPR Discussion Papers 787, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-345.
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