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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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:12/2005
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  2. 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.
  3. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel & Joseph Haslag, 2005. "The non-monotonic relationship between seigniorage and inequality," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 500-519, May.
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  11. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & van der Ploeg, F., 1992. "Does inequality cause inflation? : The political economy of inflation, taxation and government debt," Discussion Paper 1992-30, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. 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.
  13. Woo, Jaejoon, 2005. "Social polarization, fiscal instability and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1451-1477, August.
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  15. 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.
  16. Luis Catão & Marco Terrones, 2003. "Fiscal Deficits and Inflation," IMF Working Papers 03/65, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Cukierman, A. & Webb, S., 1994. "Political Influence on the Central Bank : International Evidence," Discussion Paper 1994-100, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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  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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