Macro-fiscal analysis
Journal article

Balance sheet changes and the impact of financial sector risk-taking on fiscal multipliers

By Konstantin Makrelov, Channing Arndt, Rob Davies, and Laurence Harris
September 2019


We analyse implications of financial sector dynamics for fiscal expenditure multipliers in recessionary conditions. A new stock-flow consistent model is developed in which a financial sector with four financial instruments is integrated with the real sector. The transmission of policy innovations occurs through balance sheet effects. Higher government expenditure increases aggregate demand in the economy. This reduces the perceived probability of default on financial institutions’ loans, increases asset valuations, and leads financial institutions to reduce interest rate spreads. Expectations of higher future wealth and a reduction in credit constraints supports consumption growth. Stronger balance sheets across institutions and lower interest rates increase investment. The interaction between growth and balance sheet valuations creates financial accelerator effects though its impact on financial sector risk-taking. Inflows of foreign savings can increase the multiplier further than would be the case in a closed economy constrained by domestic savings. The results show that fully modelling interactions between real and financial sectors generates fiscal multipliers higher than have been found for South Africa in other types of model.

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