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Sovereign Risk, Fiscal Policy, and Macroeconomic Stability

  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Keith Kuester
  • André Meier
  • Gernot J. Müller

This paper analyzes the impact of strained government finances on macroeconomic stability and the transmission of fiscal policy. Using a variant of the model by Curdia and Woodford (2009), we study a 'sovereign risk channel' through which sovereign default risk raises funding costs in the private sector. If monetary policy is constrained, the sovereign risk channel exacerbates indeterminacy problems: private-sector beliefs of a weakening economy may become self-fulfilling. In addition, sovereign risk amplifies the effects of negative cyclical shocks. Under those conditions, fiscal retrenchment can help curtail the risk of macroeconomic instability and, in extreme cases, even stimulate economic activity.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): (2013)
Issue (Month): (02)
Pages: F99-F132

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v::y:2013:i::p:f99-f132
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  1. Thomas Laubach, 2003. "New evidence on the interest rate effects of budget deficits and debt," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Andreas Schabert & Sweder J G van Wijnbergen, 2014. "Sovereign Default and the Stability of Inflation-Targeting Regimes," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 62(2), pages 261-287, June.
  3. Ardagna, Silvia & Caselli, Francesco & Lane, Timothy, 2004. "Fiscal Discipline and the Cost of Public Debt Service: Some Estimates for OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
  5. Benhabib, J. & Schmitt-Grohe, S. & Uribe, M., 1999. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Working Papers 99-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2015. "Credit Frictions and Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 21820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Borgy, V. & Laubach, T. & Mésonnier, J-S. & Renne, J-P., 2011. "Fiscal Sustainability, Default Risk and Euro Area Sovereign Bond Spreads Markets," Working papers 350, Banque de France.
  8. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Patricio A Valenzuela, 2007. "The Determinants of Corporate Risk in Emerging Markets; An Option-Adjusted Spread Analysis," IMF Working Papers 07/228, International Monetary Fund.
  9. F. Giavazzi & M. Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of two Small Euopean Countries," Working Papers 89, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  10. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper, 2010. "Sovereign Debt Risk Premia and Fiscal Policy in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 15810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Vincent Reinhart & Brian Sack, 2000. "The Economic Consequences of Disappearing Government Debt," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 163-220.
  12. Ana M. Aizcorbe & Arthur B. Kennickell & Kevin B. Moore, 2003. "Recent changes in U.S. family finances: evidence from the 1998 and 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-32.
  13. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," NBER Working Papers 11874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2009. "The Economics and Law of Sovereign Debt and Default," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 651-98, September.
  15. David Haugh & Patrice Ollivaud & David Turner, 2009. "What Drives Sovereign Risk Premiums?: An Analysis of Recent Evidence from the Euro Area," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 718, OECD Publishing.
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