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Cost of borrowing shocks and fiscal adjustment

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  • Leiner-Killinger, Nadine
  • Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric
  • de Groot, Oliver

Abstract

Do capital markets impose fiscal discipline on governments? We investigate the responses of fiscal variables to a change in the interest rate paid by governments on their debt in a panel of 14 European countries over four decades. This is done in the context of a panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) model, using sign restrictions via the penalty function method of Mountford and Uhlig (2009) to identify structural cost of borrowing shocks. Our baseline estimation shows that a one percentage point rise in the cost of borrowing leads to a cumulative improvement of the primary balance-to-GDP ratio of approximately 1.9 percentage points over 10 years, with the fiscal response becoming significantly evident only two years after the shock. We also find that the bulk of fiscal adjustment takes place via a rise in government revenue rather than a cut in primary expenditure. The size of the total fiscal adjustment, however, is insufficient to avoid the gross government debt-to-GDP ratio from rising as a consequence of the shock. Sub-dividing our sample, we also find that for countries participating in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) the primary balance response to a cost of borrowing shock was stronger in the period after 1992 (the year in which the Maastricht Treaty was signed) than prior to 1992. JEL Classification: C33, E43, E62, H60

Suggested Citation

  • Leiner-Killinger, Nadine & Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & de Groot, Oliver, 2012. "Cost of borrowing shocks and fiscal adjustment," Working Paper Series 1503, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121503
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    Cited by:

    1. de Groot, Oliver & Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Leiner-Killinger, Nadine, 2015. "Cost of borrowing shocks and fiscal adjustment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 23-48.
    2. Saleem Bahaj, 2014. "Systemic Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Implications in the Euro Area," Discussion Papers 1406, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    3. S. M. Ali Abbas & Laura Blattner & Mark De Broeck & Asmaa A ElGanainy & Malin Hu, 2014. "Sovereign Debt Composition in Advanced Economies; A Historical Perspective," IMF Working Papers 14/162, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Dell' Erba, Salvatore & Mattina, Todd & Roitman, Agustin, 2015. "Pressure or prudence? Tales of market pressure and fiscal adjustment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 196-213.
    5. Stefano Neri & Tiziano Ropele, 2015. "The macroeconomic effects of the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1007, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Salvatore Dell'Erba & Todd D. Mattina & Agustin Roitman, 2013. "Pressure or Prudence? Tales of Market Pressure and Fiscal Adjustment," IMF Working Papers 13/170, International Monetary Fund.
    7. van Riet, Ad, 2017. "Addressing the safety trilemma: a safe sovereign asset for the eurozone," ESRB Working Paper Series 35, European Systemic Risk Board.
    8. Ferdinandusse, Marien & Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Bańkowski, Krzysztof & Palaiodimos, Georgios & Trindade Campos, Maria Manuel, 2017. "Euro area fiscal stance," Occasional Paper Series 182, European Central Bank.
    9. Stefan Avdjiev & Stephan Binder & Ricardo Sousa, 2017. "External debt composition and domestic credit cycles," BIS Working Papers 627, Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; long-term interest rates; sign restrictions; vector-autoregressive models;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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