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When Does Government Debt Crowd Out Investment?

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  • Shu-Chun S. Yang

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Nora Traum

    (North Carolina State University)

Abstract

We examine when government debt crowds out investment for the U.S. economy using an estimated New Keynesian model with a detailed fiscal specification. The estimation accounts for the interaction between monetary and fiscal policies. Whether private investment is crowded in or out in the short term depends on the fiscal or monetary shock that triggers a debt expansion: Higher debt can crowd in investment despite a higher real interest rate for a reduction in capital tax rates or an increase in productive government investment. Contrary to the conventional view of crowding out, no systematic relationship among debt, the real interest rate, and investment exists. This result offers an explanation as to why empirical studies that have focused on the reduced-form relationship between interest rates and debt are often inconclusive. At longer horizons, distortionary financing is important for the negative investment response to a debt expansion.

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  • Shu-Chun S. Yang & Nora Traum, 2011. "When Does Government Debt Crowd Out Investment?," 2011 Meeting Papers 479, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:479
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Ren & Hou, Jie & He, Xiaobei, 2017. "Real estate price and heterogeneous investment behavior in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 271-280.
    2. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Stylianos Asimakopoulos & James Malley, "undated". "The optimal distribution of the tax burden over the business cycle," Discussion Papers 2014/17, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    3. Eric M. Leeper & Alexander W. Richter & Todd B. Walker, 2012. "Quantitative Effects of Fiscal Foresight," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 115-144, May.
    4. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu‐Chun Susan Yang, 2013. "Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 1115-1145, May.
    5. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper & Campbell Leith, 2013. "Uncertain Fiscal Consolidations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 31-63, February.
    6. Aliya Algozhina, 2012. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions in an Emerging Open Economy: a Non-Ricardian DSGE Approach," FIW Working Paper series 094, FIW, revised Dec 2012.
    7. Traum, Nora & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2011. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in the post-war U.S," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 140-164, January.
    8. Leeper, Eric M. & Walker, Todd B. & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2010. "Government investment and fiscal stimulus," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 1000-1012, November.
    9. Bi, Huixin & Shen, Wenyi & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2016. "Debt-dependent effects of fiscal expansions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 142-157.
    10. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2017. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2409-2454, August.
    11. Müller, Ulrich K., 2012. "Measuring prior sensitivity and prior informativeness in large Bayesian models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 581-597.
    12. Bermperoglou, Dimitrios & Pappa, Evi & Vella, Eugenia, 2017. "The government wage bill and private activity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 21-47.
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    14. repec:eee:ecmode:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:473-486 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Bi, Huixin & Kumhof, Michael, 2011. "Jointly optimal monetary and fiscal policy rules under liquidity constraints," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 373-389, September.

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