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Credibility of Policies versus Credibility of Policymakers

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  • Allan Drazen
  • Paul R. Masson

Abstract

Standard models of policy credibility. defined as the expectation that an announced policy will be carried out. emphasize the preferences of the policymaker (his "type") and the role of policies in signaling type. Whether a policy is carried out. however. should also reflect the state of the economy. so that even a "tough" policymaker may renege on an announced policy in adverse circumstances. We investigate this alternative notion of credibility, using an "escape clause" model of devaluation. in which a policymaker maintains a fixed parity in good times, but devalues if the unemployment rate gets too high. Our main conclusion is that if there is persistence in the process driving unemployment, following a tough policy in a given period may lower rather than raise the credibility of a no-devaluation pledge in subsequent periods. in contrast to the results in the earlier literature. We test this implication on EMS interest rates and find support for our hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Allan Drazen & Paul R. Masson, 1993. "Credibility of Policies versus Credibility of Policymakers," NBER Working Papers 4448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4448 Note: IFM
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    1. Persson, Torsten, 1988. "An introduction and a broad survey," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 519-532, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997. "Destabilizing effects of exchange-rate escape clauses," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 61-77, August.
    4. Blanchard, Olivier J., 1985. "Credibility, disinflation and gradualism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 211-217.
    5. Vincent Koen, 1991. "Testing the Credibility of the Belgian Hard Currency Policy," IMF Working Papers 91/79, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1987. "Reputational constraints on monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 141-181, January.
    7. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-856, July.
    8. Kenneth A. Froot & Kenneth Rogoff, 1991. "The EMS, the EMU, and the Transition to a Common Currency," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 269-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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