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Fiscal Multipliers and Foreign Holdings of Public Debt

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

Abstract

This paper 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. We test this hypothesis for the US 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 this 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 Ireland today.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Broner & Daragh Clancy & Alberto Martin & Aitor Erce, 2018. "Fiscal Multipliers and Foreign Holdings of Public Debt," Working Papers 1040, Barcelona School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1040
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    2. 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.
    3. Matteo Cacciatore & Nora Traum, 2022. "Trade Flows and Fiscal Multipliers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1206-1223, November.
    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. Daragh Clancy & Lorenzo Ricci, 2019. "Loss aversion, economic sentiments and international consumption smoothing," Working Papers 35, European Stability Mechanism.
    6. 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.
    7. Istrefi, Klodiana & Hack, Lukas & Meier, Matthias, 2023. "Identification of Systematic Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 17999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. 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.
    9. Conefrey, Thomas & Hickey, Rónán & Lozej, Matija & Staunton, David & Walsh, Graeme, 2023. "Managing the Public Finances in a Full-Employment Economy," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 96-130, June.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Broner, Fernando & Martin, Alberto & Pandolfi, Lorenzo & Williams, Tomas, 2021. "Winners and losers from sovereign debt inflows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    13. 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.
    14. Miranda-Pinto, Jorge & Murphy, Daniel & Walsh, Kieran James & Young, Eric R., 2023. "Saving constraints, inequality, and the credit market response to fiscal stimulus," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    15. Yasin Kürşat Önder & Sara Restrepo-Tamayo & Maria Alejandra Ruiz-Sanchez & Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas, 2024. "Government Borrowing and Crowding Out," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 286-321, January.
    16. Daragh Clancy & Lorenzo Ricci, 2022. "Economic sentiments and international risk sharing," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 169, pages 208-229.
    17. Holtemöller, Oliver & Knedlik, Tobias & Lindner, Axel, 2018. "Zum Risiko einer Staatsschuldenkrise in Italien," IWH Online 4/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    18. Paras Sachdeva & Wasim Ahmad & N. R. Bhanumurthy, 2023. "Uncovering time variation in public expenditure multipliers: new evidence," Indian Economic Review, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 445-483, September.
    19. Yifei Lyu, 2021. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Government Spending Shocks in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 21/02, New Zealand Treasury.
    20. 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.
    21. Jorge Miranda-Pinto & Daniel P. Murphy & Kieran Walsh & Eric Young, 2020. "Saving Constraints, Debt, and the Credit Market Response to Fiscal Stimulus," Working Papers 20-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    22. Michal Hlavacek & Ilgar Ismayilov, 2022. "Meta-analysis: Fiscal Multiplier," Working Papers IES 2022/07, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised May 2022.
    23. 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.
    24. 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.
    25. 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; Modern Monetary Theory
    • 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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