DP12394 | Financial Fragility and the Keynesian Multiplier

Publication Date

10/25/2017

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Abstract

Abstract We investigate the effectiveness of fiscal stimuli when banks are undercapitalized and have large holdings of government bonds subject to sovereign default risk. Deficit-financed government purchases then crowd out private expenditure and fiscal multipliers can turn negative. Crowding out increases for longer maturity bonds and higher sovereign default risk. We estimate a DSGE model with financial frictions for Spain and find that investment crowding out indeed leads to a negative cumulative fiscal multiplier. When monetary policy is exogenous, like at the ZLB or in a currency union, fiscal stimuli become more effective but multipliers are reduced when banks are undercapitalized.