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Optimal fiscal policy in a world liquidity trap

  • Cook, David
  • Devereux, Michael B.

We construct a model of the international transmission of 'liquidity trap' shocks, and examine the case for international coordination of fiscal policy to respond to the liquidity trap. Integrated financial markets tend to propagate liquidity traps. In a global environment, fiscal policy may be effective in raising GDP when the economy is stuck in a liquidity trap, but it does so in a 'beggar thy neighbor' fashion; when one economy is in a liquidity trap, the cross country spillover effect of fiscal policy is negative. We examine the welfare optimizing policy response to a liquidity trap when countries coordinate on fiscal policy. Fiscal policy may be an effective tool in responding to a liquidity trap, although it is never optimal to use fiscal expansion sufficiently to fully eliminate a downturn. Moreover, there is little case for coordinated global fiscal expansion. For the most part, the country worst hit by a liquidity trap shock should use its own policies to respond, without much help from foreign policies.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 443-462

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:4:p:443-462
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2003. "Designing targeting rules for international monetary policy cooperation," Working Paper Series 0279, European Central Bank.
  2. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others," NBER Working Papers 10195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ippei Fujiwara & Nao Sudo & Tomoyuki Nakajima & Yuki Teranishi, 2010. "Global liquidity trap," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 56, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  4. Fujiwara, Ippei & Ueda, Kozo, 2013. "The fiscal multiplier and spillover in a global liquidity trap," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1264-1283.
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  8. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M., 2009. "Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interactions and Fiscal Stimulus," CEPR Discussion Papers 7509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  11. Martin Bodenstein & Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2009. "The effects of foreign shocks when interest rates are at zero," International Finance Discussion Papers 983, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. John F. Cogan & Tobias Cwik & John B. Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2009. "New Keynesian versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers," NBER Working Papers 14782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
  14. Ippei Fujiwara & Nao Sudo & Yuki Teranishi, 2010. "The Zero Lower Bound and Monetary Policy in a Global Economy: A Simple Analytical Investigation," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 6(1), pages 103-134, March.
  15. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
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