The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Empirical studies have had little success in finding a statistically significant relationship between fiscal deficits and inflation in broad cross-country panels. This paper provides new econometric estimates for a panel of 23 emerging market countries during 1970-2000. Unlike previous studies, we allow for a rich dynamic specification and focus on the long-run relationship between the two variables controlling for differences in the inflation tax base. We find that a 1 percentage point reduction in the ratio of fiscal deficit to GDP typically lowers long-run inflation by 11/2 to 6 percentage points, depending on the size of the inflation tax base.