The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper reconsiders the effects of fiscal policy on long-term interest rates employing a Factor Augmented Panel (FAP) to control for the presence of common unobservable factors. We construct a real-time dataset of macroeconomic and fiscal variables for a panel of OECD countries for the period 1989-2012. We find that two global factors—the global monetary and fiscal policy stances—explain more than 60 percent of the variance in the long-term interest rates. Compared to the estimates from models which do not account for global factors, we find that the importance of domestic variables in explaining long-term interest rates is weakened. Moreover, the propagation of global fiscal shocks is larger in economies characterized by macroeconomic and institutional weaknesses.