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Fiscal Stimulus and Fiscal Sustainability

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  • Alan J. Auerbach
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko

Abstract

The Great Recession and the Global Financial Crisis have left many developed countries with low interest rates and high levels of public debt, thus limiting the ability of policymakers to fight the next recession. Whether new fiscal stimulus programs would be jeopardized by these already heavy public debt burdens is a central question. For a sample of developed countries, we find that government spending shocks do not lead to persistent increases in debt-to-GDP ratios or costs of borrowing, especially during periods of economic weakness. Indeed, fiscal stimulus in a weak economy can improve fiscal sustainability along the metrics we study. Even in countries with high public debt, the penalty for activist discretionary fiscal policy appears to be small.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2017. "Fiscal Stimulus and Fiscal Sustainability," NBER Working Papers 23789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23789
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    7. Alberto Alesina & Gualtiero Azzalini & Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi & Armando Miano, 2018. "Is it the “How” or the “When” that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(1), pages 144-188, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deleidi, Matteo & Iafrate, Francesca & Levrero, Enrico Sergio, 2020. "Public investment fiscal multipliers: An empirical assessment for European countries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 354-365.
    2. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & Nguyen, Hien Thi Kim & Park, Donghyun, 2018. "Fiscal space and government-spending & tax-rate cyclicality patterns: A cross-country comparison, 1960-2016," Working Paper Series 7656, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    3. Fatás, Antonio & Summers, Lawrence H., 2018. "The permanent effects of fiscal consolidations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 238-250.
    4. Lorenzo Esposito & Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2019. "Defaultnomics: Making Sense of the Barro-Ricardo Equivalence in a Financialized World," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_933, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Aldama, Pierre & Creel, Jérôme, 2019. "Fiscal policy in the US: Sustainable after all?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 471-479.
    6. György Molnár & Gábor Dániel Soós & Balázs Világi, 2017. "Fiscal Policy and the Business Cycle," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 16(4), pages 58-85.
    7. Atanas Pekanov, 2018. "The New View on Fiscal Policy and its Implications for the European Monetary Union," WIFO Working Papers 562, WIFO.
    8. Matteo Deleidi & Mariana Mazzucato, 2019. "Mission-Oriented Innovation Policies: A Theoretical And Empirical Assessment For The Us Economy," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0248, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    9. Gandullia, Luca & Praussello, Franco, 2018. "Fixing the Eurozone Setup: On Viable Forms of Fiscal Union," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 71(3), pages 289-316.
    10. Sohei Kaihatsu & Maiko Koga & Tomoya Sakata & Naoko Hara, 2019. "Interaction between Business Cycles and Economic Growth," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 37, pages 99-126, November.
    11. Santiago Lago-Peñasa & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Agnese Sacchic, 2018. "Fiscal Stability during the Great Recession: Putting Decentralization Design to the Test," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1805, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    12. Antonio Fatás, 2019. "Fiscal Policy, Potential Output, and the Shifting Goalposts," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 67(3), pages 684-702, September.
    13. Chuluunbayar, Delgerjargal, 2019. "The US Fiscal Consolidation, its impact and policy implications," MPRA Paper 98223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Larch, Martin & Cugnasca, Alessandro & Kumps, Diederik & Orseau, Eloïse, 2019. "Fiscal policy and the assessment of output gaps in real time: An exercise in risk management," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-013, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    15. Stepanova O., 2019. "Fiscal sustainability under the conditions of emerging longevity economy," Economy and Forecasting, Valeriy Heyets, issue 1, pages 35-50.
    16. Iacoviello, Matteo & Navarro, Gaston, 2019. "Foreign effects of higher U.S. interest rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 232-250.
    17. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & Nguyen, Hien Thi Kim & Park, Donghyun, 2019. "Fiscal space and government-spending and tax-rate cyclicality patterns: A cross-country comparison, 1960–2016," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 229-252.
    18. Alina Klonowska, 2019. "Barriers for effectiveness of fiscal policy: the case of Poland," Ekonomia i Prawo, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 18(1), pages 29-45, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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