Working Paper Revision

Policy Rules and Large Crises in Emerging Markets

Abstract: Emerging countries have increasingly adopted rules to discipline government policy. The COVID-19 shock led to widespread suspension and modification of these rules. We study rules and flexibility in a sovereign default model with domestic fiscal and monetary policies and long-term external debt. We find welfare gains from adopting monetary targets and debt limits during normal times. Though government policy cannot itself counteract fundamental shocks hitting the economy, the adoption of rules has a significant impact on policy, macroeconomic outcomes and welfare during large, unexpected crises. We also find moderate gains from suspending monetary targets during a crisis and large losses from abandoning debt limits.

Keywords: crises; default; sovereign debt; emerging markets; exchange rate; inflation; fiscal policy; monetary policy; rules; discretion; Markov-perfect equilibrium; COVID-19;

JEL Classification: E52; E62; F34; F41; G15;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2023-10-14

Number: 2022-018

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