No. 1150 - Public investment and monetary policy stance in the euro area

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by Lorenzo Burlon, Alberto Locarno, Alessandro Notarpietro and Massimiliano Pisani December 2017

This paper evaluates the macroeconomic impact of a programme for public infrastructure spending in the euro area (EA) under alternative assumptions about funding sources and the monetary policy stance. The quantitative assessment is made by simulating a dynamic general equilibrium model of a monetary union with region-specific fiscal policy.

The main results are the following. First, EA-wide stimuli are more effective than unilateral (region-specific) stimuli. Second, under EA-wide stimulus, the fiscal multiplier is close to 2 if the forward guidance (FG) on the short-term policy rate holds. Third, if the monetary authority keeps down both the policy rates (with FG) and the long-term interest rates (with quantitative easing), the fiscal multiplier exceeds 3 at peak and investment spending is self-financing. Fourth, the financing method is relevant: debt financing, particularly under an accommodative monetary policy stance and if the sovereign spreads do not increase, is more growth-friendly than tax financing in the short-term (but not in the long-term). Fifth, the effectiveness of the fiscal stimulus is larger if government spending is directed towards productive goods and its implementation occurs efficiently and without delays.

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