This paper uses the strategy and data of Blanchard and Perotti (BP) to identify fiscal shocks and estimate fiscal multipliers for the United States. With these results, it computes the cumulative multiplier of Ramey and Zubairy (2018), now common in the literature. It finds that, contrary to the peak and through multipliers reported by BP, the cumulative tax multiplier is much larger than the cumulative spending one. Hence, the conclusions depend on the definition of multiplier. This methodology is also used to estimate the effects of fiscal shocks on economic activity in eight Latin American countries. The results suggest that the fiscal multipliers vary significantly across countries, and in some cases multipliers are larger than previously estimated.
Highly favorable external conditions have helped Latin America strengthen its economic fundamentals over the last decade. But, has the region built enough buffers to guard itself from a weakening of the external environment? This paper addresses this question by developing a simple framework that integrates econometric estimates of the effect of global factors on key domestic variables that determine public and external debt dynamics, with the IMF‘s standard debt sustainability framework. Results suggest that, while some countries in the region are well placed to withstand moderate or even large shocks, many would benefit from having stronger buffers to be in a position to deploy countercyclical policies, especially under tail events. External sustainability, on the other hand, does not appear to be a source of concern for most countries.