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Do Fixed Exchange Rates Induce More Fiscal Discipline?


  • Yan M Sun


Conventional wisdom has held that a fixed exchange rate regime induces more fiscal discipline, but Tornell and Velasco (1995, 1998) argue the opposite. Using a dynamic model with fragmented fiscal policymaking, this paper evaluates the two arguments in a single framework and shows that (1) future punishment against fiscal laxity exists under both fixed and flexible regimes; (2) fiscal authorities have a greater incentive to spend more today under fixed rates than under flexible rates; (3) in the presence of both factors above, fixed rates will induce more fiscal discipline only if the future punishment is sufficiently stronger than under flexible rates; and (4) neither fixed nor flexible rates could resolve the structural distortions caused by fragmented policymaking, and fiscal centralization needs to be undertaken to strengthen fiscal discipline.

Suggested Citation

  • Yan M Sun, 2003. "Do Fixed Exchange Rates Induce More Fiscal Discipline?," IMF Working Papers 03/78, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/78

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. By A. Javier Hamann, 2001. "Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization: A Critical Look at the Stylized Facts," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(1), pages 1-4.
    2. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1995. "Nominal interest rates, consumption booms, and lack of credibility: A quantitative examination," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 357-378, April.
    3. Fatás, Antonio & Rose, Andrew K, 2001. "Do Monetary Handcuffs Restrain Leviathan? Fiscal Policy in Extreme Exchange Rate Regimes," CEPR Discussion Papers 2692, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Talvi, Ernesto, 1997. "Exchange rate-based stabilization with endogenous fiscal response," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 59-75, October.
    5. Canavan, Chris & Tommasi, Mariano, 1997. "On the credibility of alternative exchange rate regimes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 101-122, October.
    6. de Kock, Gabriel & Grilli, Vittorio, 1993. "Fiscal Policies and the Choice of Exchange Rate Regime," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 347-358, March.
    7. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andres, 1995. "Fiscal discipline and the choice of exchange rate regime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 759-770, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 2011. "Capital market imperfections and the theory of optimum currency areas," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1659-1675.
    2. Reisen, Helmut & Grandes, Martín, 2005. "Exchange rate regimes and macroeconomic performance in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    3. Rui Ota & Stephanie Medina Cas, 2008. "Big Government, High Debt, and Fiscal Adjustment in Small States," IMF Working Papers 08/39, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Ondrej Schneider & Jan Zápal, 2005. "Fiscal Policy in New EU Member States – Go East, Prudent Man!," CESifo Working Paper Series 1486, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. João Tovar Jalles & Carlos Mulas-Granados & José Tavares, 2016. "Fiscal Discipline and Exchange Rates; Does Politics Matter?," IMF Working Papers 16/230, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Helge Berger & George Kopits & István P. Székely, 2007. "Fiscal Indulgence In Central Europe: Loss Of The External Anchor?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(1), pages 116-135, February.
    7. Rupa Duttagupta & Guillermo Tolosa, 2006. "Fiscal Discipline and Exchange Rate Regimes; Evidence From the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 06/119, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Guillermo Vuletin, 2013. "Exchange Rate Regimes And Fiscal Discipline: The Role Of Capital Controls," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 2096-2109, October.
    9. Martin Grandes & Helmut Reisen, 2003. "Hard Peg versus Soft Float. A Tale of Two Latin-American Countries," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 54(5), pages 1057-1090.
    10. John Lewis, 2007. "Fiscal policy in central and Eastern Europe: what happened in the run-up to EU accession?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 15-31, April.
    11. Philipp Paulus, 2004. "The fiscal stability impact of monetary unions - looking beneath the Stability Pact debate," Otto-Wolff-Institut Discussion Paper Series 05/2004, Otto-Wolff-Institut für Wirtschaftsordnung, Köln, Deutschland.


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