COVID-19, Fiscal Stimulus, and Credit Ratings
28 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 15, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic has rattled the global economy and has required governments to undertake massive fiscal stimulus to prevent the economic fallout of social distancing policies. In this paper, we compare the fiscal response of governments from around the world and its main determinants. We find sovereign credit ratings as one of the most critical factors determining their choice. First, the countries with one level worse rating announced 0.3 percentage points lower fiscal stimulus (as a percentage of their GDP). Second, these countries also delayed their fiscal stimulus by an average of 1.7 days. We identify 22 most vulnerable countries, based on their rating and stringency, and find that a stimulus equal to 1 percent of their GDP adds up to USD 87 billion. In order to fight the pandemic, long term loans from multilateral institutions can help these stimulus starved economies.
Keywords: Fiscal Stimulus, Credit Rating, COVID-19, Multilateral institutions
JEL Classification: E62, O23
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