Signaling Fiscal Regime Sustainability

Author/Editor:

Alessandro Prati ; Francesco Drudi

Publication Date:

July 1, 1999

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

This paper proposes a signaling model that offers a new perspective on why governments deviate from optimal tax smoothing and delay debt stabilization. In our model, dependable—but not fully credible—governments have an incentive to tighten the fiscal regime when the signaling effect on credit ratings is larger (that is, when a sufficiently large stock of debt has been accumulated). At this point, they may deviate from tax smoothing not to be mimicked by weak governments. The model predicts that primary balances and debt stocks are complementary inputs in the credit rating function as tests on Italian, Irish, Belgian, and Danish data show.

Series:

Working Paper No. 99/86

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

July 1, 1999

ISBN/ISSN:

9781451850864/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA0861999

Format:

Paper

Pages:

38

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