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Fiscal Multipliers and Foreign Holdings of Public Debt
[When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering?]

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  • Fernando Broner
  • Daragh Clancy
  • Aitor Erce
  • Alberto Martin

Abstract

This article explores a natural connection between fiscal multipliers and foreign holdings of public debt. Although fiscal expansions can raise domestic economic activity through various channels, they can also have crowding-out effects if the resources used to acquire public debt reduce domestic consumption and investment. These crowding-out effects are likely to be weaker when governments have access to foreign savings when selling their debt, leading to larger fiscal multipliers. We test this hypothesis for the U.S. in the post-war period and for a panel of 17 advanced economies from the 1980s to the present. To do so, we assemble a novel database of public debt holdings by domestic and foreign creditors for these countries. We combine these data with standard measures of fiscal policy shocks and show that, indeed, the size of fiscal multipliers is increasing in the share of public debt held by foreigners. In particular, the fiscal multiplier is smaller than one when the foreign share is low, such as in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s and Japan today, and larger than one when the foreign share is high, such as in the U.S. and several European countries today.

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  • Fernando Broner & Daragh Clancy & Aitor Erce & Alberto Martin, 2022. "Fiscal Multipliers and Foreign Holdings of Public Debt [When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering?]," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(3), pages 1155-1204.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:89:y:2022:i:3:p:1155-1204.
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    Cited by:

    1. Collingro, Franziska & Frenkel, Michael, 2022. "Fiscal multipliers in the euro area: A comparative study⋆," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 386-397.
    2. Axelle Ferriere & Gaston Navarro, 2013. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending: It's All About Taxes," Working Papers 13-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    3. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2021. "On Public Spending and Economic Unions," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 69(1), pages 122-154, March.
    4. Efrem Castelnuovo & Guay Lim, 2019. "What Do We Know About the Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy? A Brief Survey of the Literature on Fiscal Multipliers," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 52(1), pages 78-93, March.
    5. Eduardo Garzón Espinosa & Bibiana Medialdea García & Esteban Cruz Hidalgo, 2021. "Fiscal Policy Approaches: An Inquiring Look From The Modern Monetary Theory," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(4), pages 999-1022, October.
    6. Jorge Miranda-Pinto & Daniel Murphy & Kieran James Walsh & Eric R. Young, 2021. "Saving Constraints, Inequality, and the Credit Market Response to Fiscal Stimulus," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 927, Central Bank of Chile.
    7. Yasin Kürşat Önder & Maria Alejandra Ruiz-Sanchez & Sara Restrepo-Tamayo & Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas, 2021. "Government Borrowing and Crowding Out," Borradores de Economia 1182, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    8. Davoine, Thomas & Molnar, Matthias, 2020. "Cross-country fiscal policy spillovers and capital-skill complementarity in integrated capital markets," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 132-150.
    9. Matteo Cacciatore & Nora Traum, 2020. "Trade Flows and Fiscal Multipliers," NBER Working Papers 27652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Holtemöller, Oliver & Knedlik, Tobias & Lindner, Axel, 2018. "Zum Risiko einer Staatsschuldenkrise in Italien," IWH Online 4/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    11. Broner, Fernando & Martin, Alberto & Pandolfi, Lorenzo & Williams, Tomas, 2021. "Winners and losers from sovereign debt inflows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    12. Yifei Lyu, 2021. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Government Spending Shocks in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 21/02, New Zealand Treasury.
    13. Jorge Miranda-Pinto & Daniel P. Murphy & Kieran Walsh & Eric R. Young, 2020. "Saving Constraints, Debt, and the Credit Market Response to Fiscal Stimulus," Working Papers 20-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    14. Alessio Moro & Omar Rachedi, 2022. "The Changing Structure Of Government Consumption Spending," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1293-1323, August.
    15. Clancy, Daragh & Ricci, Lorenzo, 2022. "Economic sentiments and international risk sharing," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 208-229.
    16. El Mostafa Bentour, 2022. "The effects of public debt accumulation and business cycle on government spending multipliers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(19), pages 2231-2256, April.
    17. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2020. "On Public Spending and Unions," Economics Working Papers 1715, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2020.
    18. Daragh Clancy & Lorenzo Ricci, 2019. "Loss aversion, economic sentiments and international consumption smoothing," Working Papers 35, European Stability Mechanism.
    19. Jorge Miranda-Pinto & Daniel Murphy & Kieran James Walsh & Eric R. Young, 2019. "Saving Constraints, Debt, and the Credit Market Response to Fiscal Stimulus: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence," Discussion Papers Series 609, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    20. Abo-Zaid, Salem & Kamara, Ahmed H., 2020. "Credit Constraints and the Government Spending Multiplier," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign debt; Fiscal multiplier; Foreign holdings of public debt;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts
    • F65 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Finance
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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