In the drive to fiscal policy coordination, the potential of fiscal spillovers should feature more heavily, especially for small open economies like Ireland. Sadly they don’t, as this new research shows. Other models hold out more hope (but in a static setting), but the principal findings are that small open economies can’t rely on larger trading partners to help them overcome large cyclical slumps in output.
Money quote from the first linked piece:
“Even under very high multipliers, a 1% of GDP fiscal expenditure stimulus in Germany would raise the GDP growth in Ireland by only 0.3 percentage points after 2 years, in Portugal by 0.1 percentage points, and have virtually no effect on growth in Greece. Similarly, fiscal policy changes in Germany alone have only a small impact on the trade balance of the peripheral countries, and are thus unlikely to contribute to the reduction in peripheral countries’ imbalances.”
This is worth considering in the context of monetary, and perhaps fiscal, union in the EU. The source document for the spillover calculations is this IMF report.