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When Does Government Debt Crowd Out Investment?

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  • Shu-Chun S. Yang

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Nora Traum

    (North Carolina State University)

Abstract

We examine when government debt crowds out investment for the U.S. economy using an estimated New Keynesian model with a detailed fiscal specification. The estimation accounts for the interaction between monetary and fiscal policies. Whether private investment is crowded in or out in the short term depends on the fiscal or monetary shock that triggers a debt expansion: Higher debt can crowd in investment despite a higher real interest rate for a reduction in capital tax rates or an increase in productive government investment. Contrary to the conventional view of crowding out, no systematic relationship among debt, the real interest rate, and investment exists. This result offers an explanation as to why empirical studies that have focused on the reduced-form relationship between interest rates and debt are often inconclusive. At longer horizons, distortionary financing is important for the negative investment response to a debt expansion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 479.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:479

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Cited by:
  1. Aliya Algozhina, 2012. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions in an Emerging Open Economy: A Non-Ricardian DSGE Approach," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp476, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2009. "Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 14630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Müller, Ulrich K., 2012. "Measuring prior sensitivity and prior informativeness in large Bayesian models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 581-597.
  4. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper & Campbell Leith, 2012. "Uncertain Fiscal Consolidations," Working Papers 2012_03, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  5. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Stylianos Asimakopoulos & Jim Malley, 2013. "The Optimal Distribution of the Tax Burden over the Business Cycle," CESifo Working Paper Series 4468, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Shu-Chun S. Yang & Todd B. Walker & Eric M. Leeper, 2010. "Government Investment and Fiscal Stimulus," IMF Working Papers 10/229, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Shu-Chun S. Yang & Nora Traum, 2010. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions in the Post-War U.S," IMF Working Papers 10/243, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2011. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," NBER Working Papers 17444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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