The Impact of Inflation on Budgetary Discipline
This paper investigates budgetary rules for an economy characterized by inflation and volatile relative prices. We view the budgetary process as a limited contingencies contract between the treasury and the ministers. The budgetary process allows a minister, whose realized real budget falls short of a threshold, to ask for a treasury, the minister obtains the extra funds needed to meet the expenditure threshold level. The contract sets both the projected budget and the threshold real expenditure that justifies budget revisions. We identify the efficient contract and show that for significant state verification costs and for low volatility, the contract is non contingent (i.e., a nominal contract). For volatility significant enough the contract becomes state contingent -- it reduces the initial allocation [i.e., the projected budget,] and reduces the threshold associated with budgetary revisions. Both adjustments imply that in volatile economies the projected revenue understates the realized budget hence the average budget error is positive. As volatility increases, the contract converges to a full ex-post indexation. Hence, one of the costs of inflation is that nominal contracts lose their disciplining role in determining the real allocation. Instead, the economy shifts towards more costly arrangements like ex-post indexation, where discipline is accomplished by constant monitoring The last part of the paper uses the data from 12 Latin American countries to test the model's predictions. Our tests confirm that in an inflationary environment the planned budget is under-predicting the realized one -- higher inflation increases the budget error and the average budget error is positive.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Aizenman, Joshua and Ricardo Hausmann. "The Impact Of Inflation On Budgetary Discipline," Journal of Development Economics, 2000, v63(2,Dec), 425-449.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Roland Benabou, 1988. "Search, Price Setting and Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 353-376.
- Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
- Townsend, Robert M., 1988. "Information constrained insurance : The revelation principle extended," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 411-450.
- Alesina, Alberto & Hausmann, Ricardo & Hommes, Rudolf & Stein, Ernesto, 1999.
"Budget institutions and fiscal performance in Latin America,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 253-273, August.
- Stein, Ernesto & Hommes, Rudolf & Hausmann, Ricardo & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America," Scholarly Articles 4553021, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Ricardo Hausmann & Alberto Alesina & Rudolf Hommes & Ernesto H. Stein, 1998. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4160, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Alberto Alesina & Ricardo Hausmann & Rudolf Hommes & Ernesto Stein, 1996. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 5586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cantor, Richard M, 1988. "Work Effort and Contract Length," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(219), pages 343-53, August.
- Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
- Debelle, Guy & Lamont, Owen, 1997.
"Relative Price Variability and Inflation: Evidence from U.S. Cities,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 132-52, February.
- Guy Debelle & Owen Lamont, 1996. "Relative Price Variability and Inflation: Evidence from US Cities," NBER Working Papers 5627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stanley Fischer, 1981. "Relative Shocks, Relative Price Variability, and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 381-442.
- Ball, L. & Mankiw, N.G., 1992.
"Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1602, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1994. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 247-61, March.
- Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 4089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sebastian Edwards & Guido Tabellini, 1990.
"Explaining Fiscal Policies and Inflation in Developing Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
3493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "Explaining fiscal policies and inflation in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1, Supple), pages S16-S48, March.
- Townsend, Robert M., 1979.
"Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
- Robert M. Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Guillermo A. Calvo & Pablo E. Guidotti, 1993. "On the Flexibility of Monetary Policy: The Case of the Optimal Inflation Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 667-687.
- Aizenman, Joshua, 1984. "Optimal wage re-negotiation in a closed and open economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 251-262, March.
- Guidotti, Pablo E. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1993. "The optimal inflation tax when money reduces transactions costs : A reconsideration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 189-205, April.
- Calvo, Guillermo A. & Kaminsky, Graciela L., 1991. "Debt relief and debt rescheduling : The optimal-contract approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 5-36, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5338. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.