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Seminar: Diego Anzoategui (Rutgers)

November 20, 2019 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Title: Sovereign Spreads and the Effects of Fiscal Austerity (paper: spreads_aust_Nov19)

Abstract: I analyze the impact of austerity on sovereign spreads. To do so I propose a model with strategic sovereign default and nominal rigidities where the government follows fiscal rules, which are estimated from data. I first analyze the theoretical implications of the model and find that austerity can be self-defeating only when austerity packages are persistent and the economy is expected to be in a recession with high fiscal multipliers. I then calibrate the model using data from Spain and estimate the size and impact of fiscal policy shocks associated with austerity policies. I use the model to predict what would have happened to spreads and economic activity if Spain had continued to follow the pre-2010 fiscal rule instead of switching to the austerity track. I find that, relative to the counter-factual, austerity decreased sovereign spreads and debt-to-GDP ratios even when fiscal multipliers where higher than one during 2010-2013. Overall, the results indicate that the likelihood of facing self-fulfilling austerity episodes depends on the magnitude of fiscal multipliers but is generally low. In fact, this probability is below 3% considering calibrations with overall fiscal multipliers lower or equal than 3.


November 20, 2019
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Hunter West 1537 (Economics Dept. Seminar Room)
912 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10065
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