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Fiscal Stimulus and Consumer Debt
In the aftermath of consumer debt-induced recession, policymakers have questioned whether fiscal stimulus is effective during the periods of high consumer indebtedness. This study empirically investigates this question. Using detailed data on Department of Defense spending for the 2006-2009 period, we document that the open-economy relative fiscal multiplier is higher in geographies with higher consumer indebtedness. The results suggest that fiscal policy can mitigate the adverse effect of consumer (over)leverage on real economic output during a recession. We then exploit detailed microdata ...
Saving Constraints, Debt, and the Credit Market Response to Fiscal Stimulus
We document that the interest rate response to fiscal stimulus (IRRF) is lower in countries with high inequality or high household debt. To interpret this evidence we develop a model in which households take on debt to maintain a consumption threshold (saving constraint). Now debt-burdened, these households use additional income to deleverage. In economies with more debt-burdened households, increases in government spending tighten credit conditions less (relax credit conditions more), leading to smaller increases (larger declines) in the interest rate. Our theoretical framework predicts that ...
Market Assessment of COVID-19
News about the COVID-19 public health crisis has affected asset prices to varying degrees across sectors of the U.S. economy. Stocks in the utilities, real estate, and energy sectors initially suffered the worst sector-specific shocks, while the information technology, health-care, and telecommunications sectors fared relatively better. Businesses with higher financial leverage saw larger declines in their valuations. A simultaneous repricing of credit derivatives suggests concerns about insolvency contributed to the valuation declines. Although some stocks are recovering from the initial ...
The COVID-19 Fiscal Multiplier: Lessons from the Great Recession
The United States enacted a series of fiscal relief and stimulus bills in recent weeks, centered around the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The current fiscal response shares key similarities to the fiscal stimulus enacted during the Great Recession. Research over the past 10 years on the macroeconomic impact of that stimulus thus has important implications for the current fiscal response. The results point to a large potential impact on GDP.