Fiscal Buffers, Private Debt, and Stagnation : The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Author/Editor:

Nicoletta Batini ; Giovanni Melina ; Stefania Villa

Publication Date:

May 23, 2016

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

We revisit the empirical relationship between private/public debt and output, and build a model that reproduces it. In the model, the government provides financial assistance to credit-constrained agents to mitigate deleveraging. As we observe in the data, surges in private debt are potentially more damaging for the economy than surges in public debt. The model suggests two policy implications. First, capping leverage leads to milder recessions, but also implies more muted expansions. Second, with fiscal buffers, financial assistance to credit-constrained agents helps avoid stagnation. The growth returns from intervention decline as the government approaches the fiscal limit.

Series:

Working Paper No. 16/104

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

May 23, 2016

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484365502/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2016104

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

41

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