Fiscal Policy and Interest Rates: The Role of Financial and Economic Integration

  • Peter ClaeysEmail author
  • Rosina Moreno
  • Jordi Suriñach
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


A government running a deficit needs to turn to financial markets to place this additional public debt. Newly issued public bonds compete for financing with bonds issued by private agents. The additional demand created by the fiscal expansion pushes up interest rates, and eventually crowds out private investment. Not all economists agree that consolidating public finances would immediately reduce pressure on interest rates, however. Despite a vast literature testing crowding out, there is actually surprisingly little robust empirical support for this hypothesis.1 Interest rates are insulated from fiscal policy under two alternative conditions. The first explanation for a zero impact of deficits on aggregate macroeconomic variables is that economic agents anticipate paying down currently high deficits with higher taxes in the future. Under Ricardian Equivalence, private saving fully offsets the effect of higher public consumption (for a given level of taxation). Few economists would consider the assumptions underlying the Ricardian Equivalence null as realistic, however. More elaborate macroeconomic models that depart from the baseline Ricardian assumption easily find real economic effects of fiscal policy. There is by now also a large body of empirical evidence that clearly refutes the Ricardian hypothesis (Blanchard and Perotti 2002).


Interest Rate Financial Market Fiscal Policy Spillover Effect Public Debt 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Anna Giribet for excellent research assistance. Peter Claeys acknowledges support by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship within the 6th European Community Framework Programme.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AQR Research Group-IREA, University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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