The Time-Series Linkages between US Fiscal Policy and Asset Prices
21 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2015
Date Written: March 31, 2015
This paper studies the interplay of fiscal policy and asset price returns of the United States in a time-varying-parameter vector autoregressive model. Using annual data from 1890 to 2013, we study the effects of dynamic shocks to both fiscal policy and asset returns on asset returns and fiscal policy. Distinguishing between low volatility (bull market) and high volatility (bear market) regimes together with a time-varying-parameter vector autoregressive model enables us to isolate the different size and sign of responses to shocks during different time periods. The results indicate that increases in the primary deficit to GDP ratio decrease house returns over the entire sample and at each impulse horizon. Unlike the house return response, stock returns only decrease in the first year after the fiscal shock, but then increase for the following eight years. Furthermore, the findings show that asset return movements affect fiscal policy, whereby fiscal policy responds more to equity returns than to house returns. The response of fiscal policy to asset returns proves relatively stable and constant over time while controlling for and identifying various asset return regimes. Asset returns respond uniformly to fiscal policy shocks since the 1900's.
Keywords: TVP-VAR, countercyclical fiscal policy, stock prices, house prices
JEL Classification: C11, C15, C32, H30, H61
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