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Can Fiscal Policy Stimulus Boost Economic Recovery?

  • Agnello, L.
  • Sousa, R.

We assess the role played by fiscal policy in explaining the dynamics of asset markets. Using a panel of ten industrialized countries, we show that a positive fiscal shock has a negative impact in both stock and housing prices. However, while stock prices immediately adjust to the shock and the effect of fiscal policy is temporary, housing prices gradually and persistently fall. Consequently, the attempts of fiscal policy to mitigate stock price developments (e.g. via taxes on capital gains) may severely de-stabilize housing markets. The empirical findings also point to significant fiscal multiplier effects in the context of severe housing busts, which gives rise to the importance of the implementation of fiscal stimulus packages. In addition, our results suggest that when governments run a budget deficit, they place an upward pressure on real interest rates, which "crowds-out" private consumption and investment. In contrast, during bust periods, unexpected variation in the fiscal stance crowds-in private spending, which reflects the "direct" and "indirect" effects of policy actions impact arising from a downward movement in real interest rates and an upward revision in price level expectations.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 325.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:325
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/
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  1. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  3. Ardagna, Silvia, 2009. "Financial markets' behavior around episodes of large changes in the fiscal stance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 37-55, January.
  4. Bradley, John & Whelan, Karl, 1997. "The Irish expansionary fiscal contraction: A tale from one small European economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 175-201, April.
  5. Sousa, Ricardo M., 2010. "Housing wealth, financial wealth, money demand and policy rule: Evidence from the euro area," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 88-105, March.
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  7. Love, Inessa & Zicchino, Lea, 2006. "Financial development and dynamic investment behavior: Evidence from panel VAR," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 190-210, May.
  8. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Do people respond to tax incentives? An analysis of the Italian reform of the deductibility of home mortgage interests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 247-271, February.
  9. Agnello, Luca & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2011. "Booms and busts in housing markets: Determinants and implications," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 171-190, September.
  10. Darrat, Ali F., 1990. "Stock Returns, Money, and Fiscal Deficits," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(03), pages 387-398, September.
  11. Agnello, Luca & Nerlich, Carolin, 2012. "On the severity of economic downturns: Lessons from cross-country evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 149-155.
  12. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  13. van Aarle, Bas & Garretsen, Harry & Gobbin, Niko, 2003. "Monetary and fiscal policy transmission in the Euro-area: evidence from a structural VAR analysis," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(5-6), pages 609-638.
  14. Bas van Aarle & Harry Garretsen & Florence Huart, 2003. "Transatlantic Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction," CESifo Working Paper Series 1042, CESifo Group Munich.
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