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Author:Bi, Huixin 

Journal Article
Fiscal Sustainability: A Cross-Country Analysis

Since the global financial crisis, public debt has risen rapidly in many advanced and emerging market economies. Every country faces a fiscal limit at which taxes and spending can no longer adjust to stabilize debt. But quantifying fiscal limits can be challenging. Different countries have different capacities to service their debt. Moreover, two countries with similar debt levels may face drastically different default risks. {{p}} Huixin Bi introduces a new, country-specific framework of fiscal limits to quantify the maximum level of debt a government can sustain given its economic and ...
Economic Review , Issue Q IV , Pages 5-35

Working Paper
Flight to Liquidity or Safety? Recent Evidence from the Municipal Bond Market

We examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent monetary and fiscal policy actions on municipal bond market pricing. Using high-frequency trading data, we estimate key policy events at the peak of the crisis by focusing on a sample of bonds within a narrow window before and after each policy event. We find that policy interventions, in particular those with explicit credit backstops, were effective in alleviating municipal bond market stress. Next, we exploit daily variation in traded municipal bonds and virus exposure across U.S. counties. We find a shift in how bond investors ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-19

Working Paper
Fiscal Implications of Interest Rate Normalization in the United States

This paper studies the fiscal implications of interest rate normalization from the zero lower bound (ZLB) in the United States. At the ZLB, the decline in tax revenues and the real bond price drives up government debt. During normalization, interest payments continue to rise higher than they would have had rates not reached the ZLB, potentially increasing government debt even as output and tax revenues recover. We find that against the yardstick of ability to pay, interest rate normalization is unlikely to pose an immediate threat to debt sustainability at the current net federal debt level ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-12

Working Paper
Credit Guarantee and Fiscal Costs

This paper studies the effectiveness of government-backed credit guarantees to the infrastructure sector, a policy tool adopted by a range of countries during recessions. We proposea two-sector model with financial intermediary frictions so that infrastructure producers relyon bank loans to finance their risky production. Governments can intervene in the credit market by providing a partial guarantee on those bank loans. We find that a credit guaranteeincreases infrastructure production, leading to a high fiscal multiplier in the longer run. In thenear term, however, higher wages in the ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 22-09

Journal Article
Examining the Recent Shift in State and Local Pension Plans to Alternative Investments

State and local pension plans have increasingly turned to alternative investments in recent years. The authors found that this shift appears to be across the board; underfunding only partially explains this shift. In addition, they found that switching to alternative investments does not necessarily increase the volatility of returns.
Macro Bulletin

Journal Article
Understanding State and Local Government Spending over the Business Cycle

State and local (S&L) government spending is essential for providing public services and infrastructure and accounts for more than 10 percent of GDP. How this sector responds during a recession can play an important role in shaping the overall economic recovery.Huixin Bi, Chaitri Gulati, and Nora Traum document how S&L government expenditures have evolved over the business cycle since the 1950s. They find that from 1950 to the mid-1980s, S&L spending followed no uniform pattern after recessions: spending was sometimes procyclical (declining during recessions) and sometimes countercyclical ...
Economic Review , Volume vol. 108 , Issue no. 3 , Pages 15

Journal Article
Fiscal Relief during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the sharp economic downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed unprecedented policy relief measures to support households, businesses, and the broader economy. Compared with previous fiscal stimulus responses, these relief programs have been unmatched in size and scope, speed of response, and novelty of design.Huixin Bi and Chaitri Gulati review recent empirical research on three fiscal relief programs—stimulus checks, augmented unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)—to understand their effects on the broader economy as ...
Economic Review , Volume 106 , Issue no.2 , Pages 5-24

Journal Article
Rainy Day Funds Have Grown as State Tax Revenue Strengthens

Many state governments have seen solid growth in their tax revenues over the past couple of years. We show that recent changes in the federal tax code contributed to the uptick in state revenues. In addition, we show that states have used the recent revenue windfall to build up rainy day funds at a much faster pace than they did before the Great Recession.
Economic Bulletin , Issue October 16, 2019 , Pages 4

Working Paper
Sovereign Risk and Fiscal Information: A Look at the U.S. State Default of the 1840s

This paper examines how newspaper reporting affects government bond prices during the U.S. state default of the 1840s. Using unsupervised machine learning algorithms, the paper first constructs novel ``fiscal information indices'' for state governments based on U.S. newspapers at the time. The impact of the indices on government bond prices varied over time. Before the crisis, the entry of new western states into the bond market spurred competition: more state-specific fiscal news imposed downward pressure on bond prices for established states in the market. During the crisis, more ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-4

Working Paper
Unconventional Monetary Policy and Local Fiscal Policy

Following the onset of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve employed an unconventional monetary policy that directly intervened in municipal bond markets. We characterize the fiscal and macroeconomic implications of such central bank actions in a New Keynesian model of a monetary union. We assume that state and local governments are subject to a loan-in-advance constraint, reflecting that with lumpy cash flows, they often finance a fraction of expenditures by issuing short-term bonds. The municipal debt is held by financial intermediaries, who alsosupply credit to the private sector. Direct ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 22-15



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