IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fiscal Policy, Foresight and the Trade Balance in the U.S


  • Luca Gambetti


This paper investigates the effects of fiscal policy on the trade balance using a structural factor model. A fiscal policy shock worsens the trade balance and produces an appreciation of the domestic currency but the effects are quantitatively small. The findings match the theoretical predictions of the standard Mundell-Fleming model, although fiscal policy should not be considered one of the main causes of the large US external deficit. My conclusions differ from those reached using VAR models since the fiscal shock, possibly due to fiscal foresight, is nonfundamental for the variables typically used in open economy VARs.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Gambetti, 2010. "Fiscal Policy, Foresight and the Trade Balance in the U.S," Working Papers 505, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:505

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 624-660, June.
    2. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2005. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 830-840, September.
    3. Uhlig, Harald, 2005. "What are the effects of monetary policy on output? Results from an agnostic identification procedure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 381-419, March.
    4. Connor, Gregory & Korajczyk, Robert A., 1988. "Risk and return in an equilibrium APT : Application of a new test methodology," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 255-289, September.
    5. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Thomas J. Sargent & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "ABCs (and Ds) of Understanding VARs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 1021-1026, June.
    6. Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco, 2001. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Representation Theory," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(06), pages 1113-1141, December.
    7. Karel Mertens & MortenO. Ravn, 2010. "Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 393-413, May.
    8. Evi Pappa, 2009. "The Effects Of Fiscal Shocks On Employment And The Real Wage," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 217-244, February.
    9. Forni, Mario & Giannone, Domenico & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2009. "Opening The Black Box: Structural Factor Models With Large Cross Sections," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(05), pages 1319-1347, October.
    10. Kollmann, Robert, 1998. "US trade balance dynamics: the role of fiscal policy and productivity shocks and of financial market linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 637-669, August.
    11. Ireland, Peter N., 2004. "A method for taking models to the data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1205-1226, March.
    12. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
    13. Baxter, Marianne, 1995. "International trade and business cycles," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 1801-1864 Elsevier.
    14. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti, 2010. "Fiscal Foresight and the Effects of Government Spending," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 851.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    15. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2007. "Determining the Number of Primitive Shocks in Factor Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 52-60, January.
    16. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," Caepr Working Papers 2008-013, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    17. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
    18. Altug, Sumru, 1989. "Time-to-Build and Aggregate Fluctuations: Some New Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 889-920, November.
    19. Amengual, Dante & Watson, Mark W., 2007. "Consistent Estimation of the Number of Dynamic Factors in a Large N and T Panel," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 91-96, January.
    20. Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1998. "Let's Get Real: A Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 453-473.
    21. Chamberlain, Gary & Rothschild, Michael, 1983. "Arbitrage, Factor Structure, and Mean-Variance Analysis on Large Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1281-1304, September.
    22. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422.
    23. Hallin, Marc & Liska, Roman, 2007. "Determining the Number of Factors in the General Dynamic Factor Model," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 603-617, June.
    24. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
    25. Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Two Models of Measurements and the Investment Accelerator," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-287, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca, 2011. "Testing for Sufficient Information in Structural VARs," CEPR Discussion Papers 8209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca, 2014. "Sufficient information in structural VARs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 124-136.

    More about this item


    Structural factor model; fiscal policy; twin deficits; trade deficit; current account; Mundell-Fleming;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:505. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.