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Does fiscal stance affect inflation expectations? Evidence for European economies

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  • Łyziak, Tomasz
  • Mackiewicz-Łyziak, Joanna

Abstract

According to the fiscal theory of the price level, in a non-Ricardian regime, high public debt should lead to a price-level increase so as to fulfill intertemporal government budget constraint. Forward-looking agents should anticipate this rise by pushing up their inflation expectations. This study tests the above hypothesis by analyzing the impact of fiscal sustainability on the formation of inflation expectations by private-sector agents – consumers and professional forecasters – in European countries. In the study, we estimate models of inflation expectations, and we include public debt among the explanatory variables. The novelty of this study lies in our analysis of whether the relationship between public debt and inflation expectations is affected by the degree to which fiscal policy is sustainable in European economies. We find that fiscal stance influences the inflation expectations of consumers and professional forecasters. Contrary to intuition, the reaction of consensus economic forecasts to public debt in countries with sustainable fiscal policies seems stronger than in economies with less disciplined fiscal policies. This may suggest that fiscal authorities are constrained by the way in which private-sector agents form their expectations, conducting more responsible fiscal policy in countries where the reaction of economic agents to fiscal variables is stronger.

Suggested Citation

  • Łyziak, Tomasz & Mackiewicz-Łyziak, Joanna, 2020. "Does fiscal stance affect inflation expectations? Evidence for European economies," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 296-310.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecanpo:v:68:y:2020:i:c:p:296-310
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2020.09.010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation expectations; Fiscal sustainability; European economies; Survey data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H39 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Other

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