The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The concept of market-based fiscal discipline posits that a government which runs persistent, excessive fiscal deficits will face an increased cost of borrowing and eventually, a reduced availability of credit, and that these market actions will provide an incentive to correct irresponsible fiscal behavior. This paper presents new empirical evidence on market-based fiscal discipline by estimating the relationship between the cost of borrowing and fiscal policy behavior across U.S. states. We find that U.S. states which have followed more prudent fiscal policies are perceived by the market as having lower default risk and are therefore able to reap the benefit of lower borrowing costs.