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An Empirical Analysis of the Revival of Fiscal Activism in the 2000s

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  • John B. Taylor

Abstract

An empirical review of the three fiscal stimulus packages of the 2000s shows that they had little if any direct impact on consumption or government purchases. Households largely saved the transfers and tax rebates. The federal government only increased purchases by a small amount. State and local governments saved their stimulus grants and shifted spending away from purchases to transfers. Counterfactual simulations show that the stimulus-induced decrease in state and local government purchases was larger than the increase in federal purchases. Simulations also show that a larger stimulus package with the same design as the 2009 stimulus would not have increased government purchases or consumption by a larger amount. These results raise doubts about the efficacy of such packages adding weight to similar assessments reached more than thirty years ago. (JEL E21, E23, E32, E62, H50)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 49 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 686-702

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:49:y:2011:i:3:p:686-702

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.49.3.686
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  1. Gramlich, Edward M, 1979. "Stimulating the Macro Economy through State and Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 180-85, May.
  2. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2009. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," Working Paper Series 1090, European Central Bank.
  3. Nicholas S. Souleles & Jonathan A. Parker & David S. Johnson, 2006. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1589-1610, December.
  4. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-85, September.
  5. Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel B. Slemrod, 2009. "Did the 2008 Tax Rebates Stimulate Spending?," NBER Working Papers 14753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
  7. Oh, Hyunseung & Reis, Ricardo, 2012. "Targeted transfers and the fiscal response to the great recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages S50-S64.
  8. Edward M. Gramlich, 1978. "State and Local Budgets the Day after It Rained: Why Is the Surplus So High?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 191-216.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Steven Fazzari & James Morley & Irina Panovska, 2013. "State-Dependent Effects of Fiscal Policy," Discussion Papers 2012-27A, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  2. Hong, Kiseok & Tang, Hsiao Chink, 2012. "Crises in Asia: Recovery and policy responses," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 654-668.
  3. Carlino, Gerald A. & Inman, Robert P., 2014. "Macro fiscal policy in economic unions: states as agents," Working Papers 14-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Robert Pollin & James Heintz, 2013. "Study of U.S. Financial System," FESSUD studies fstudy10, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
  5. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 2012. "Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(1 (Spring), pages 233-297.
  6. Makin, Anthony J. & Narayan, Paresh Kumar & Narayan, Seema, 2014. "What expenditure does Anglosphere foreign borrowing fund?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 63-78.
  7. Stephen A. Marglin & Peter Spiegler, 2013. "Where Did All the Money Go? Stimulus in Fact and Fantasy," INET Research Notes 31, Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).
  8. Perendia, George & Tsoukis, Chris, 2012. "The Keynesian multiplier, news and fiscal policy rules in a DSGE model," Dynare Working Papers 25, CEPREMAP.
  9. Virkola, Tuomo, 2014. "Exchange Rate Regime, Fiscal Foresight and the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy in a Small Open Economy," ETLA Reports 20, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  10. Diego E. Vacaflores, 2013. "Monetary Transfers in the U.S.: How Efficient Are Tax Rebates?," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(3), pages 26-48, November.
  11. John B. Taylor, 2014. "The Role of Policy in the Great Recession and the Weak Recovery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 61-66, May.
  12. Felix Reichling & Charles Whalen, 2012. "Assessing the Short-Term Effects on Output of Changes in Federal Fiscal Policies: Working Paper 2012-08," Working Papers 43278, Congressional Budget Office.
  13. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 703-18, September.

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