IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/3080.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can fiscal rules help reduce macroeconomic volatility in the Latin America and Caribbean Region?

Author

Listed:
  • Perry, Guillermo

Abstract

The debate on fiscal policy in Europe centers on how to let automatic stabilizers work while achieving fiscal consolidation. There is significant agreement on the importance of using fiscal policy as a counter-cyclical instrument, as monetary policy can no longer play this role. In contrast, most of the discussion on fiscal policy in Latin America and the Carribean region (LAC) deals just on solvency issues, largely ignoring the effects of the economic cycle. This is surprising as LAC economies are much more volatile than their European counterparts and have been generally applying pro-cyclical fiscal policies that exacerbate volatility. Some analysts and policymakers appear to think that counter-cyclical fiscal policies are a luxury that only industrial countries can indulge in or, at least, that LAC countries (with the exception of Chile) that have successfully put in place a counter-cyclical fiscal policy need to deal first with pressing adjustment and solvency issues before they attempt to reduce the highly pro-cyclical character of their fiscal policies. The author argues that this is a major mistake because the costs of pro-cyclical fiscal policies in LAC are huge in growth and welfare terms, especially for the poor, and because pro-cyclical policies and rules tend to develop a deficit bias, thus ending up being nonsustainable and noncredible. Perry illustrates both propositions. He then examines the causes of the pro-cyclicality of fiscal policies in LAC and discusses how well-designed fiscal rules may help to deal with the political economy and credibility factors behind pro-cyclicality. He also examines conflicts between flexibility and credibility in rules, showing how a good design can both facilitate the operation of automatic stabilizers while at the same time supporting solvency goals and enhancing credibility. Perry evaluates the experience with different fiscal rules and institutions in LAC to see the extent they have helped or can help to achieve the twin goals of avoiding deficit and pro-cyclical biases.

Suggested Citation

  • Perry, Guillermo, 2003. "Can fiscal rules help reduce macroeconomic volatility in the Latin America and Caribbean Region?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3080, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3080
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2003/07/26/000094946_03071704235094/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Djankov, Simeon & et al, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 341-381, October.
    2. Pagano, Marco & Jappelli, Tullio, 1993. " Information Sharing in Credit Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1693-1718, December.
    3. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
    4. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    5. Besley, Timothy & Burgess, Robin & Pratt, Andrea, 2002. "Mass media and political accountability," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35988, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. David E. M. Sappington & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Privatization, information and incentives," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 567-585.
    7. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    8. Chowdhry, Bhagwan & Goyal, Amit, 2000. "Understanding the financial crisis in Asia," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 135-152, May.
    9. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "Some Theoretical Aspects of Agricultural Policies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 2(1), pages 43-60, January.
    10. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-1177, December.
    11. Alexander Dyck & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "The Corporate Governance Role of the Media," NBER Working Papers 9309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Stiglitz, J.E., 1988. "Sharecropping," Papers 11, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
    13. Avishay Braverman & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "Cost-Sharing Arrangements under Sharecropping: Moral Hazard, Incentive Flexibility, and Risk," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 68(3), pages 642-652.
    14. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2002. "Information sharing, lending and defaults: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 2017-2045, October.
    15. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    16. Bruce Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Money, Imperfect Information and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
    18. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    19. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Frankel, 2011. "A Lesson from the South for Fiscal Policy in the US and Other Advanced Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, pages 407-430.
    2. Orlando Gomes, 2009. "On the stability of endogenous growth models: An evaluation of the agents' response to output fluctuations," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 17-35, January.
    3. Jeffrey Frankel, 2013. "A Solution to Fiscal Procyclicality: The Structural Budget Institutions Pioneered by Chile," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Jordi Galí (ed.), Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance, edition 1, volume 17, chapter 9, pages 323-391 Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Mackiewicz, Michał, 2008. "Determinants of Cyclicality of Fiscal Surpluses in The OECD Countries," MPRA Paper 16034, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3080. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.