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Soverign risk and the effects of fiscal retrenchment in deep recessions

  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Keith Kuester
  • Andre Meier
  • Gernot J. Muller

The authors analyze the effects of government spending cuts on economic activity in an environment of severe fiscal strain, as reflected by a sizeable risk premium on government debt. Specifically, they consider a "sovereign risk channel," through which sovereign default risk spills over to the rest of the economy, raising funding costs in the private sector. The authors' analysis is based on a variant of the model suggested by Cúrdia and Woodford (2009). It allows for costly financial intermediation and inter-household borrowing and lending in equilibrium, but maintains the tractability of the baseline New Keynesian model. They show that, if monetary policy is constrained in offsetting the effect of higher sovereign risk on private-sector borrowing conditions, the sovereign risk channel exacerbates indeterminacy problems: private-sector beliefs of a weakening economy can become self-fulfilling. Under these conditions, fiscal retrenchment can limit the risk of macroeconomic instability. In addition, if fiscal strain is very severe and monetary policy is constrained for an extended period, fiscal retrenchment may actually stimulate economic activity.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 11-43.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:11-43
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  1. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2011. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247, April.
  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Keith Kuester & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2010. "Debt Consolidation and Fiscal Stabilization of Deep Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 41-45, May.
  3. Giancarlo Corsetti & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2012. "What determines government spending multipliers?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 27(72), pages 521-565, October.
  4. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
  5. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Patricio Valenzuela, 2007. "The Determinants of Corporate Risk in Emerging Markets: An Option-Adjusted Spread Analysis," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6845, Inter-American Development Bank.
  6. Nathalie Girouard & Christophe André, 2005. "Measuring Cyclically-adjusted Budget Balances for OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 434, OECD Publishing.
  7. Sanjeev Gupta & Amine Mati & Emanuele Baldacci, 2008. "Is it (Still) Mostly Fiscal? Determinants of Sovereign Spreads in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 08/259, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 607-635, June.
  9. Thomas Laubach, 2009. "New Evidence on the Interest Rate Effects of Budget Deficits and Debt," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 858-885, 06.
  10. Andreas Schabert & Sweder J G van Wijnbergen, 2014. "Sovereign Default and the Stability of Inflation-Targeting Regimes," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 62(2), pages 261-287, June.
  11. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of two Small Euopean Countries," Working Papers 89, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  12. Ugo Panizza & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "The Elusive Costs of Sovereign Defaults," Research Department Publications 4485, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  13. Ardagna Silvia & Caselli Francesco & Lane Timothy, 2007. "Fiscal Discipline and the Cost of Public Debt Service: Some Estimates for OECD Countries," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-35, August.
  14. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2009. "What fiscal policy is effective at zero interest rates?," Staff Reports 402, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
  16. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper, 2010. "Sovereign Debt Risk Premia and Fiscal Policy in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 15810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Cristina Arellano, 2008. "Default Risk and Income Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 690-712, June.
  18. Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2009. "The Economics and Law of Sovereign Debt and Default," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 651-98, September.
  19. Vincent Reinhart & Brian Sack, 2000. "The Economic Consequences of Disappearing Government Debt," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 163-220.
  20. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise if the Government Buys More Output?," NBER Working Papers 15496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Ana M. Aizcorbe & Arthur B. Kennickell & Kevin B. Moore, 2003. "Recent changes in U.S. family finances: evidence from the 1998 and 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-32.
  22. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2009. "Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 278, Bank for International Settlements.
  23. Gernot Müller & André Meier & Giancarlo Corsetti, 2012. "What Determines Government Spending Multipliers?," IMF Working Papers 12/150, International Monetary Fund.
  24. David Haugh & Patrice Ollivaud & David Turner, 2009. "What Drives Sovereign Risk Premiums?: An Analysis of Recent Evidence from the Euro Area," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 718, OECD Publishing.
  25. Borgy, V. & Laubach, T. & Mésonnier, J-S. & Renne, J-P., 2011. "Fiscal Sustainability, Default Risk and Euro Area Sovereign Bond Spreads Markets," Working papers 350, Banque de France.
  26. Perotti, Roberto, 2011. "The "Austerity Myth": Gain without Pain?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8658, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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