In the economic literature, there has been a large heterogeneity of results in relation to the impact of fiscal variables on interest rates. Focusing on the Italian economy and considering the nature of our interest rate determinants (public finance variables and nominal GDP growth), we decided to undertake a cointegration analysis relying on the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bound test approach, a particular suitable procedure within this peculiar framework, able to disentangle short-run and long-run dynamics. Our results are quite controversial, shedding new light on the role of gross debt and primary balance as a share of GDP in relation to the long-term Italian nominal interest rate. In this context, the ECB has probably played a crucial role, especially in the most severe phases of the Sovereign debt crisis. The European fiscal framework then shows further critical issues in relation to the new role that fiscal variables play within our econometric analysis.
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