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Fiscal Multipliers and Public Debt Dynamics in Consolidations

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  • Jocelyn Boussard
  • Francisco de Castro
  • Matteo Salto

Abstract

The success of a consolidation in reducing the debt ratio depends crucially on the value of the multiplier, which measures the impact of consolidation on growth, and on the reaction of sovereign yields to such a consolidation. We present a theoretical framework that formalizes the response of the public debt ratio to fiscal consolidations in relation to the value of fiscal multipliers, the starting debt level and the cyclical elasticity of the budget balance. We also assess the role of markets confidence to fiscal consolidations under alternative scenarios. We find that with high levels of public debt and sizeable fiscal multipliers, debt ratios are likely to increase in the short term in response to fiscal consolidations. Hence, the typical horizon for a consolidation during crises episodes to reduce the debt ratio is two-three years, although this horizon depends critically on the size and persistence of fiscal multipliers and the reaction of financial markets. Anyway, such undesired debt responses are mainly short-lived. This effect is very unlikely in non-crisis times, as it requires a number of conditions difficult to observe at the same time, especially high fiscal multipliers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 460.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0460

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Cited by:
  1. Luiz de Mello, 2013. "What Can Fiscal Policy Do in the Current Recession? A Review of Recent Literature and Policy Options," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 204(1), pages 113-139, March.
  2. Astarita, Caterina & Purificato, Francesco, 2013. "TARGET2 imbalances and the need for a lender of last resort," MPRA Paper 51124, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Francisco de Castro & Francisco Martí & Antonio Montesinos & Javier J. Pérez & A. Jesús Sánchez-Fuentes, 2014. "Fiscal policies in Spain: Main stylises facts revisited," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1408, Banco de Espa�a.
  4. António Afonso & Ana Sofia Guimarães, 2014. "The relevance of fiscal rules for fiscal and yield developments," Working Papers Department of Economics 2014/05, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  5. Gustav A. Horn & Sebastian Gechert & Alexander Herzog-Stein & Katja Rietzler & Silke Tober & Sabine Stephan & Andrew Watt, 2013. "Inmitten der Krise des Euroraums - Herausforderungen für die Wirtschaftspolitik 2013," IMK Report 79-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  6. Christophe Blot & Marion Cochard & Jérôme Creel & Bruno Ducoudre & Danielle Schweisguth & Xavier Timbeau, 2014. "Fiscal consolidation in times of crisis: is the sooner really the better?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2g7mhju69b9, Sciences Po.

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