IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedbwp/07-4.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Debt and the effects of fiscal policy

Author

Listed:
  • Carlo Favero
  • Francesco Giavazzi

Abstract

A fiscal shock due to a shift in taxes or in government spending will, at some point in time, constrain the future path of taxes and spending, since the government?s intertemporal budget constraint will eventually have to be met. This simple fact is surprisingly overlooked in analyses of the effects of fiscal policy based on vector autoregressive models. We study the effects of fiscal shocks, keeping track of the debt dynamics that arise following a fiscal shock and allowing for the possibility that taxes, spending, and interest rates might respond to the level of the debt as it evolves over time. We show that the absence of a debt feedback effect can result in incorrect estimates of the dynamic effects of fiscal shocks. In particular, omitting an effect of fiscal shocks on long-term interest rates?a frequent finding in studies that omit a debt feedback?can be explained by the misspecification of these fiscal shocks. Using data for the U.S. economy and two alternative identification assumptions, we reconsider the effects of fiscal policy shocks, correcting for these shortcomings. We close the paper by observing that the methodology described by taking into account the stock-flow relationship between debt and fiscal variables to analyze the impact of fiscal shocks could also be applied to other dynamic models that include similar identities. The inclusion of capital as a slow-moving variable in the study of the relationship between productivity shocks and hours worked is one example.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2007. "Debt and the effects of fiscal policy," Working Papers 07-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:07-4
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2007/wp0704.htm
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2007/wp0704.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Roberto Perotti, 2008. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2007, Volume 22, pages 169-226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 166-206, January.
    3. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
    4. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
    5. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
    6. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 121-184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J. & McGrattan, Ellen R., 2008. "Are structural VARs with long-run restrictions useful in developing business cycle theory?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1337-1352, November.
    8. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
    9. Bagliano, Fabio C. & Favero, Carlo A., 1999. "Information from financial markets and VAR measures of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 825-837, April.
    10. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for non-linear effects of fiscal policy: Evidence from industrial and developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1259-1289, June.
    11. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ramey, V.A., 2016. "Macroeconomic Shocks and Their Propagation," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 71-162, Elsevier.
    2. Agustín S. Bénétrix, 2012. "Fiscal Shocks And Real Wages," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 203-220, July.
    3. Anuwat PUE-ON & Bert D WARD, 2009. "The Impact of Capital Intensive Farming in Thailand: A Computable General Equilibrium Approach," EcoMod2009 21500076, EcoMod.
    4. Quaghebeur, Ewoud, 2019. "Learning And The Size Of The Government Spending Multiplier," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(8), pages 3189-3224, December.
    5. Shafik Hebous, 2011. "The Effects Of Discretionary Fiscal Policy On Macroeconomic Aggregates: A Reappraisal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 674-707, September.
    6. Kristie M. Engemann & Michael T. Owyang & Sarah Zubairy, 2008. "A primer on the empirical identification of government spending shocks," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 90(Mar), pages 117-132.
    7. Gnocchi, Stefano & Hauser, Daniela & Pappa, Evi, 2016. "Housework and fiscal expansions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 94-108.
    8. Vivien Lewis & Roland Winkler, 2017. "Government Spending, Entry, And The Consumption Crowding‐In Puzzle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58(3), pages 943-972, August.
    9. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca, 2016. "Government spending shocks in open economy VARs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 68-84.
    10. Giancarlo Corsetti & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2012. "What determines government spending multipliers? [Mafia and public spending: Evidence of the fiscal multiplier from a quasi-experiment’, mimeo]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 27(72), pages 521-565.
    11. Carine Bouthevillain & John Caruana & Cristina Checherita & Jorge Cunha & Esther Gordo & Stephan Haroutunian & Geert Langenus & Amela Hubic & Bernhard Manzke & Javier J. Pérez & Pietro Tommasino, 2009. "Pros and cons of various fiscal measures to stimulate the economy," Economic Bulletin, Banco de España, issue JUL, pages 1-21, July.
    12. Caldara, Dario & Kamps, Christophe, 2008. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks? A VAR-based comparative analysis," Working Paper Series 877, European Central Bank.
    13. Hyeongwoo Kim, 2018. "Fiscal Policy, Wages, and Jobs in the U.S," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2018-02, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    14. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
    15. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2007. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 227-270, March.
    16. Peren Arin, K. & Koray, Faik & Spagnolo, Nicola, 2015. "Fiscal multipliers in good times and bad times," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 303-311.
    17. Francesco Giavazzi & Michael McMahon, 2012. "The Household Effects of Government Spending," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 103-141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Bouakez, Hafedh & Chihi, Foued & Normandin, Michel, 2014. "Measuring the effects of fiscal policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 123-151.
    19. Kim, Hyeongwoo & Zhang, Shuwei, 2018. "Understanding Why Fiscal Stimulus Can Fail through the Lens of the Survey of Professional Forecasters," MPRA Paper 89326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Miguel Almunia & Agustín Bénétrix & Barry Eichengreen & Kevin H. O’Rourke & Gisela Rua, 2010. "From Great Depression to Great Credit Crisis: similarities, differences and lessons [Germany: Guns, butter, and economic miracles]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25(62), pages 219-265.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt; Fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:fip:fedbwp:07-4. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbbous.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Spozio (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbbous.html .

    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.