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Fiscal multipliers and foreign holdings of public debt

Author

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

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 markets to place their debt, increasing the size of multipliers. We test this hypothesis on (i) post-war US data and (ii) data for a panel of 17 advanced economies from the 1980's to the present. To do so, we assemble a novel database of public debt holdings by domestic and foreign creditors for a large set of advanced economies. 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 1950's and 1960's and Japan today, and larger than one when the foreign share is high, such as in the U.S. and Ireland today. JEL Classification: E62, F32, F34, F36, F41, F62, F65, G15, H63

Suggested Citation

  • Clancy, Daragh & Martin, Alberto & Broner, Fernando & Erce, Aitor, 2019. "Fiscal multipliers and foreign holdings of public debt," Working Paper Series 2255, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20192255
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gaston Navarro & Axelle Ferriere, 2016. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending: It's All About Taxes," 2016 Meeting Papers 1286, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. 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.
    3. Holtemöller, Oliver & Knedlik, Tobias & Lindner, Axel, 2018. "Zum Risiko einer Staatsschuldenkrise in Italien," IWH Online 4/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Alessio Moro & Omar Rachedi, 2018. "The changing structure of goverment consumption spending," Working Papers 1840, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal multiplier; foreign holdings of public debt; sovereign debt;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • 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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