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How does the U.S. government finance fiscal shocks?

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  • Antje Berndt
  • Hanno Lustig
  • Sevin Yeltekin

Abstract

We develop a method for identifying and quantifying the fiscal channels that help finance government spending shocks. We define fiscal shocks as surprises in defense spending and show that they are more precisely identified when defense stock data are used in addition to aggregate macroeconomic data. Our results show that in the postwar period, about 9% of the U.S. government’s unantic- ipated spending needs were financed by a reduction in the market value of debt and more than 70% by an increase in primary sur- pluses. Additionally, we find that long-term debt is more effective at absorbing fiscal risk than short-term debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Antje Berndt & Hanno Lustig & Sevin Yeltekin, "undated". "How does the U.S. government finance fiscal shocks?," GSIA Working Papers 2006-E70, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1153249048
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    Cited by:

    1. Equiza-Goni, Juan & Faraglia, Elisa & Oikonomou, Rigas, 2016. "Union Debt Management," CEPR Discussion Papers 11181, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Croce, M.M. & Nguyen, Thien T. & Raymond, S. & Schmid, L., 2019. "Government debt and the returns to innovation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(3), pages 205-225.
    3. George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 2011. "Interest Rate Risk and Other Determinants of Post-WWII US Government Debt/GDP Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 192-214, July.
    4. Alessandro Missale, 2012. "Sovereign debt management and fiscal vulnerabilities," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Threat of fiscal dominance?, volume 65, pages 157-176, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Jens Hilscher & Alon Raviv & Ricardo Reis, 2022. "Inflating Away the Public Debt? An Empirical Assessment [Crisis and commitment: Inflation credibility and the vulnerability to sovereign debt crises]," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 35(3), pages 1553-1595.
    6. Demirci, Irem & Huang, Jennifer & Sialm, Clemens, 2019. "Government debt and corporate leverage: International evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(2), pages 337-356.
    7. Cochrane, John H., 2011. "Understanding policy in the great recession: Some unpleasant fiscal arithmetic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 2-30, January.
    8. Alaa Soliman & Mohammad Aliu Momoh & Ibrahim L. Awad, 2017. "Infrastructure Guarantees: Making It Simple," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 1, pages 178-202.
    9. Howard Kung & Gonzalo Morales & Alexandre Corhay, 2017. "Fiscal Discount Rates and Debt Maturity," 2017 Meeting Papers 840, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Luigi Marattin & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Porcelli, 2022. "Revenue vs expenditure based fiscal consolidation: the pass-through from federal cuts to local taxes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 29(4), pages 834-872, August.
    11. Equiza-Goñi, Juan, 2016. "Government debt maturity and debt dynamics in euro area countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 292-311.
    12. Anastasios G Karantounias, 2018. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Recursive Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(4), pages 2283-2317.
    13. Ravi Bansal & Mariano Max Croce & Wenxi Liao & Samuel Rosen, 2019. "Uncertainty-Induced Reallocations and Growth," NBER Working Papers 26248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Croce, M. & Nguyen, Thien T. & Raymond, S., 2021. "Persistent government debt and aggregate risk distribution," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 347-367.
    15. Silva, Felipe Bastos Gurgel, 2021. "Fiscal Deficits, Bank Credit Risk, and Loan-Loss Provisions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(5), pages 1537-1589, August.
    16. Juan Equiza Goni, 2014. "Sovereign Debt Maturity and Debt-to GDP Dynamics in Six Euro Area Countries," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2014-44, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    17. Croce, Mariano Massimiliano & Nguyen, Thiên Tung & Raymond, Steve & Schmid, Lukas, 2018. "Government Debt and the Returns to Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12617, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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