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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Alesina, Alberto F & Prati, Alessandro & Tabellini, Guido, 1989. "Public Confidence and Debt Management: A Model and a Case Study of Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 351, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "Fiscal Expansions and Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 5214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  9. Bertola, Giuseppe & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," CEPR Discussion Papers 599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," NBER Working Papers 5332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Drudi, Francesco & Prati, Alessandro, 1993. "Signalling Debt Sustainability," CEPR Discussion Papers 787, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1993. "Sustainable Plans and Mutual Default," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 175-95, January.
  14. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 417, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Cukierman, A. & Liviatan, N., 1989. "Optimal Accommodation By Strong Policymakers Under Incomplete Information," Papers 13-89, Tel Aviv.
  16. Robert J. Barro, 1986. "Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 1794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Drudi, F. & Prati, A., 1998. "Signaling Fiscal Regime Sustainability," Papers 335, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  18. 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.
  19. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "Sustainable Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
  20. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Levine's Working Paper Archive 114, David K. Levine.
  21. Stokey, Nancy L., 1991. "Credible public policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 627-656, October.
  22. 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.
  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. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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