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Does austerity pay off?
Born, Benjamin; Müller, Gernot J.; Pfeifer, Johannes
We investigate if a reduction of government consumption lowers the sovereign default premium. For this purpose we build a new data set for 38 emerging and developed economies. Results vary along three dimensions. First, the time horizon: the premium declines, but only in the long run. Second, initial conditions: the premium increases in the short run, but only if it is already high. Third, size: the short-run response of the premium increases disproportionately as government consumption is reduced. We rationalize these findings in a structural model of optimal sovereign default where default risk is priced in an actuarially fair manner.
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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properlyattributed.
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