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Optimal fiscal policy and sovereign debt crises

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Niemann

    (University of Essex)

  • Paul Pichler

    (University of Vienna)

Abstract

This paper studies how sovereign risk – both fundamental and self-fulfilling – shapes the cyclical behavior of optimal fiscal policy. We develop a model with endogenous default costs where market sentiment can induce belief-driven debt rollover crises. Optimal taxes and public spending are generally procyclical, but the incidence of rollover risk gives rise to infrequent episodes of severely countercyclical fiscal activity. These endogenous regime changes are associated with pronounced countercyclical changes in the level of debt. Debt buildups are triggered already by relatively mild recessions, but successful fiscal consolidations occur only in exceptionally good times. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Niemann & Paul Pichler, 2020. "Optimal fiscal policy and sovereign debt crises," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 234-254, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:18-382
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2020.02.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Morten Ravn & Neele Balke, 2015. "Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy in a Debt Crisis," 2015 Meeting Papers 613, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Ivens, Annika, 2018. "Optimal fiscal policy under private debt deleveraging," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-18.
    3. Alina Daniela Vodă & Gabriela Dobrotă & Loredana Andreea Cristea, 2020. "Procyclical, Countercyclical and Acyclical Fiscal Policies," Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, Ovidius University of Constantza, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 0(2), pages 1101-1108, December.
    4. Kassouri, Yacouba & Altıntaş, Halil, 2021. "Cyclical drivers of fiscal policy in sub-Saharan Africa: New insights from the time-varying heterogeneity approach," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 51-67.
    5. Gómez-Oliveros Durán Leyre & Niemann Stefan & Pichler Paul, 2020. "Fiscal policy and the output costs of sovereign default," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 1-11, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; Sovereign debt; Rollover crises; Regime switches;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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