Economic Uncertainty and Structural Reforms

40 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2015

See all articles by Alessandra Bonfiglioli

Alessandra Bonfiglioli

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Economics Department

Gino A. Gancia

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional (CREI)

Date Written: November 2015

Abstract

Does economic uncertainty promote the implementation of structural reforms? We answer this question using one of the most exhaustive cross-country panel data set on reforms in six major areas and measuring economic uncertainty with stock market volatility. To address endogeneity concerns, we propose various identification strategies, instrumenting uncertainty with world shocks to volatility and with natural disasters, terrorist attacks, political coups and revolutions. Across all specifications, we find that uncertainty has a positive and significant effect on the adoption of reforms. This result is robust to the inclusion of a large number of controls, including political variables, economic variables, crisis indicators, and a host of country, reform and time fixed effects. These findings are broadly consistent with recent models suggesting that uncertainty promotes reforms by mitigating agency problems between policy makers and voters.

Keywords: reforms, uncertainty

JEL Classification: E02, E60, L51

Suggested Citation

Bonfiglioli, Alessandra and Gancia, Gino A., Economic Uncertainty and Structural Reforms (November 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10937, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2691542

Alessandra Bonfiglioli (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Economics Department ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, E-08005
Spain

Gino A. Gancia

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional (CREI) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

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