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The Political Economy of Seigniorage

While most economists agree that seigniorage is one way governments finance deficits, there is less agreement about the political, institutional and economic reasons for relying on it. This paper investigates the main determinants of seigniorage using panel data on about 100 countries, for the period 1960-1999. Estimates show that greater political instability leads to higher seigniorage, especially in developing, less democratic and socially-polarized countries, with high inflation, low access to domestic and external debt financing and with higher turnover of central bank presidents. One important policy implication of study is the need to develop institutions conducive to greater economic freedom as a means to lower the reliance on seigniorage financing of public deficits. Classification-JEL: E31, E63.

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File URL: http://www3.eeg.uminho.pt/economia/nipe/docs/2005/NIPE_WP_12_2005.PDF
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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 12/2005.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:12/2005
Contact details of provider: Postal: Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho, P-4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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  1. Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," NBER Working Papers 7750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Click, Reid W, 1998. "Seigniorage in a Cross-Section of Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(2), pages 154-71, May.
  3. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B, 1995. "Political Influence on the Central Bank: International Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(3), pages 397-423, September.
  4. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
  5. Alex Cukierman & Sebastian Edwards & Guido Tabellini, 1989. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," NBER Working Papers 3199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Catao, Luis A.V. & Terrones, Marco E., 2005. "Fiscal deficits and inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 529-554, April.
  7. Johnson, Paul & Durlauf, Steven N & Temple, Johnathan R. W., 2004. "Growth Econometrics," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 61, Vassar College Department of Economics.
    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
  8. Stanley Fischer & Ratna Sahay & Carlos A. V�gh, 2002. "Modern Hyper- and High Inflations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 837-880, September.
  9. Carlos A. Végh, 1989. "Government Spending and Inflationary Finance: A Public Finance Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 657-677, September.
  10. Desai, Raj M. & Olofsgard, Anders & Yousef, Tarik M., 2005. "Inflation and inequality: does political structure matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 41-46, April.
  11. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Bunzel, Helle & Haslag, Joseph, 2003. "The Non-Monotonic Relationship Between Seigniorage and Inequality," Staff General Research Papers 10252, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Click, Reid W., 2000. "Seigniorage and conventional taxation with multiple exogenous shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1447-1479, September.
  13. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  14. Beetsma, Roel M W J & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1996. " Does Inequality Cause Inflation?: The Political Economy of Inflation, Taxation and Government Debt," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 143-62, April.
  15. Woo, Jaejoon, 2003. "Economic, political, and institutional determinants of public deficits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 387-426, March.
  16. Aisen, Ari & Veiga, Francisco Jose, 2006. "Does Political Instability Lead to Higher Inflation? A Panel Data Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1379-1389, August.
  17. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & Federico Sturzenegger, 2003. "To Float or to Fix: Evidence on the Impact of Exchange Rate Regimes on Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1173-1193, September.
  18. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. " Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
  19. Easterly, William R & Mauro, Paolo & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 1995. "Money Demand and Seigniorage-Maximizing Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 583-603, May.
  20. Aizenman, Joshua, 1992. "Competitive Externalities and the Optimal Seigniorage," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(1), pages 61-71, February.
  21. Woo, Jaejoon, 2005. "Social polarization, fiscal instability and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1451-1477, August.
  22. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
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