Cost of borrowing shocks and fiscal adjustment
AbstractDo capital markets impose fiscal discipline on governments? We investigate the responses of fiscal variables to a change in the interest rate paid by governments on their debt in a panel of 14 European countries over four decades. To this end, we estimate a panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) model, using sign restrictions via the penalty function method of Mountford and Uhlig (2009) to identify structural cost of borrowing shocks. Our baseline estimation shows that a 1 percentage point rise in the cost of borrowing leads to a cumulative improvement of the primary balance-to-GDP ratio of approximately 2 percentage points over 10 years, with the fiscal response becoming significantly evident only two years after the shock. We also find that the bulk of fiscal adjustment takes place via a rise in government revenue rather than a cut in primary expenditure. The size of the total fiscal adjustment, however, is insufficient to avoid the gross government debt-to-GDP ratio from rising as a consequence of the shock. Sub-dividing our sample, we also find that for countries participating in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) the primary balance response to a cost of borrowing shock was stronger in the period after 1992 (the year in which the Maastricht Treaty was signed) than prior to 1992.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2013-59.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-09-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2013-09-25 (European Economics)
- NEP-LAM-2013-09-25 (Central & South America)
- NEP-LTV-2013-09-25 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-MAC-2013-09-25 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-NEU-2013-09-25 (Neuroeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2013-09-25 (Public Economics)
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