Effectiveness of fiscal announcements: Early evidence from COVID-19

João Tovar Jalles, Bryn Battersby, Rachel Lee

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This paper empirically examines the effectiveness of announced government fiscal measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we build a new panel dataset of fiscal announcements by type, such as above-the line, below-the-line, and contingent liabilities for a wide sample of 136 advanced and developing countries between January 2020 and May 2021. Then, using this newly constructed dataset, we show, using both static and dynamic panel analyses, how various types of fiscal announcements affect alternative proxies of economic activity and across different income groups. We also evaluate how these effects vary depending on the country’s initial conditions (degree of public indebtedness or the business cycle positioning). Fiscal announcements also matter in terms of external credibility since they have an effect on government bond spreads. Ultimately, our findings suggest why it might be critical to consider the “news” effect of a fiscal measure by type rather than at the aggregated level.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOpen Economies Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Below-the-line operations
  • Covid-19
  • Fiscal announcements
  • Government expenditure
  • Local projections
  • Panel data


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