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Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach

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  • Karel Mertens
  • MortenO. Ravn

Abstract

Empirical estimates of the impact of government spending shocks disagree on central issues such as the size of output multipliers and the responses of consumption and the real wage. One explanation for the disagreement is that fiscal shocks are often anticipated. Due to misspecification of the information set, anticipation effects may invalidate SVAR estimates of impulse responses. We use economic theory to derive a fiscal SVAR estimator that is applicable when fiscal shocks are anticipated. We study its properties and apply it to US data. We fail to find evidence that anticipation effects overturn the existing findings from the fiscal SVAR literature. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2010.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 544 (05)
Pages: 393-413

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:544:p:393-413

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  1. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," Caepr Working Papers 2008-013, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  2. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2009. "Empirical evidence on the aggregate effects of anticipated and unanticipated US tax policy shocks," Working Paper Research 181, National Bank of Belgium.
  3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Meier, André & Müller, Gernot, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus with spending reversals," CEPR Discussion Papers 7302, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Mart�n Uribe, 2006. "Deep Habits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 195-218.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2006. "Assessing structural VARs," International Finance Discussion Papers 866, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    • Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2007. "Assessing Structural VARs," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 1-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "Does information help recovering structural shocks from past observations?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10125, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Cosmin L. Ilut & Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2010. "Monetary Policy and Stock Market Booms," Working Papers 10-69, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  8. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2008. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 14551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1994. "VAR analysis, nonfundamental representations, blaschke matrices," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 307-325, July.
  10. Ravn, Morten O. & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2007. "Explaining the Effects of Government Spending Shocks on Consumption and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 6541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2008. "What's News in Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 14215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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