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Expansionary fiscal shocks and the trade deficit

  • Christopher J. Erceg
  • Luca Guerrieri
  • Christopher J. Gust

In this paper, we use an open economy DGE model (SIGMA) to assess the quantitative effects of fiscal shocks on the trade balance in the United States. We examine the effects of two alternative fiscal shocks: a rise in government consumption, and a reduction in the labor income tax rate. Our salient finding is that a fiscal deficit has a relatively small effect on the U.S. trade balance, irrespective of whether the source is a spending increase or tax cut. In our benchmark calibration, we find that a rise in the fiscal deficit of one percentage point of GDP induces the trade balance to deteriorate by less than 0.2 percentage point of GDP. Noticeably larger effects are only likely to be elicited under implausibly high values of the short-run trade price elasticity.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 825.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:825
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