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How Does Fiscal Policy React to Wealth Composition and Asset Prices?

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Author Info

  • Luca Agnello

    (Banque de France and University of Palermo)

  • Vitor Castro

    (University of Coimbra and NIPE)

  • Ricardo M. Sousa

    (University of Minho, NIPE, London School of Economics and FMG)

Abstract

We assess the response of fiscal policy to developments in asset markets in the US and the UK. We estimate fiscal policy rules augmented with aggregate wealth, wealth composition (i.e. financial and housing wealth) and asset prices (i.e. stock and housing prices) using: (i) a linear framework based on a fully simultaneous system approach; and (ii) two nonlinear specifications that rely on a smooth transition regression (STR) and a Markov-switching (MS) model. The linear framework suggests that, while primary spending does not seem to react to wealth composition or asset prices, taxes and primary surplus are significantly: (i) cut when financial wealth or stock prices rise; and (ii) raised when housing wealth or housing prices increase. The smooth transition regression model shows that primary spending and fiscal balance are adjusted in a nonlinear fashion to both wealth and price effects, while the Markov-switching framework highlights the importance of tax cuts (in the US) and spending hikes (in the UK) to offset the decline in wealth during major recessions and financial crises. Overall, our results provide evidence of a non-stabilizing effect of government debt, a countercyclical policy and a vigilant track of wealth developments by fiscal authorities.

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Paper provided by GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2011-18.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2011-18

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Keywords: fiscal policy; wealth composition; asset prices.;

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Zimper, 2013. "The minimal confidence levels of Basel capital regulation," Working Papers 201305, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  2. Luca Agnello & Vítor Castro & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2012. "What determines the duration of a fiscal consolidation program?," NIPE Working Papers 17/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  3. Castroa, Vitor & Kubota, Megumi, 2013. "Duration dependence and change-points in the likelihood of credit booms ending," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6475, The World Bank.
  4. Athanasios O. Tagkalakis, 2013. "The output effects of systematic and non-systematic fiscal policy changes in Greece," Working Papers 167, Bank of Greece.
  5. Goodness C. Aye & Mehmet Balcilar & Rangan Gupta & Charl Jooste & Stephen M. Miller & Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir, 2012. "Fiscal Policy Shocks and the Dynamics of Asset Prices: The South African Experience," Working papers 2012-27, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  6. Rangan Gupta & Charl Jooste & Kanyane Matlou, 2013. "A Time-Varying Approach to Analysing Fiscal Policy and Asset Prices in South Africa," Working Papers 201303, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  7. Luca Agnello & Vítor Castro & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2012. "Are there change-points in the likelihood of a fiscal consolidation ending?," NIPE Working Papers 18/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  8. Luca Agnello & Gilles Dufrénot & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2012. "Adjusting the U.S. Fiscal Policy for Asset Prices: Evidence from a TVP-MS Framework," NIPE Working Papers 20/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  9. Fredj Jawadi & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2012. "Consumption and Wealth in the US, the UK and the Euro Area:A Nonlinear Investigation," NIPE Working Papers 24/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  10. Fredj Jawadi & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2013. "Structural breaks and nonlinearity in US and UK public debts," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 653-657, May.
  11. Agnello, Luca & Furceri, Davide & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2013. "How best to measure discretionary fiscal policy? Assessing its impact on private spending," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 15-24.
  12. Goodness C. Aye & Rangan Gupta & Mampho P. Modise, 2012. "Do Stock Prices Impact Consumption and Interest Rate in South Africa? Evidence from a Time-Varying Vector Autoregressive Model," Working Papers 201224, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  13. Agnello, Luca & Dufrénot, Gilles & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2013. "Using time-varying transition probabilities in Markov switching processes to adjust US fiscal policy for asset prices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 25-36.

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