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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: 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. 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.
  2. Francesco Drudi & Alessandro Prati, 1998. "Signaling Fiscal Regime Sustainability," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 335, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. 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.
  4. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-97, December.
  5. Alesina, A. & Prati, A. & Tabellini, G., 1989. "Public Confidence And Debt Management: A Model And A Case Study Of Italy," Papers 5, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. V. V. Chari & Patrick J Kehoe, 1998. "Sustainable Plans," Levine's Working Paper Archive 600, David K. Levine.
  9. 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.
  10. V. V. Chari & Patrick E. Kehoe, 1990. "Sustainable Plans and Mutual Default," IMF Working Papers 90/22, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of two Small Euopean Countries," Working Papers 89, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  12. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  13. Drudi, Francesco & Prati, Alessandro, 1993. "Signalling Debt Sustainability," CEPR Discussion Papers 787, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "Fiscal Expansions and Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 5214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Stokey, Nancy L., 1991. "Credible public policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 627-656, October.
  16. 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.
  17. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-fulfilling debt crises," Staff Report 211, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Sutherland, Alan, 1995. "Fiscal Crises and Aggregate Demand: Can High Public Debt Reverse the Effects of Fiscal Policy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Alberto Alesina & Allan Drazen, 1989. "Why are Stabilizations Delayed?," NBER Working Papers 3053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. 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.
  22. Alessandro Missale & Francesco Giavazzi & Pierpaolo Benigno, 1997. "Managing the Public Debt in Fiscal Stabilizations: The Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  24. 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.
  25. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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