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A primer on the empirical identification of government spending shocks

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Author Info

  • Kristie M. Engemann
  • Michael T. Owyang
  • Sarah Zubairy

Abstract

The empirical literature on the effects of government spending shocks lacks unanimity about the responses of consumption and wages. Proponents of shocks identified by structural vector auto-regressions (VARs) find results consistent with New Keynesian models: consumption and wages increase. On the other hand, proponents of the narrative approach find results consistent with neoclassical models: consumption and wages decrease. This paper reviews these two identifications and confirms their differences by using standard economic series. It also uses alternative measures of government spending, output, and the labor market and shows that, although there are minor fluctuations within each identification, the disparate results between the two are robust to the alternative measures. However, under the structural VAR approach, the authors find some differences between the responses to federal and state/local government spending.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): Mar ()
Pages: 117-132

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2008:i:mar:p:117-132:n:v.90no.2

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Keywords: Government spending policy ; Expenditures; Public;

References

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  1. Favero, Carlo A & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2007. "Debt and the Effects of Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2005. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  3. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Understanding the effects of a shock to government purchases," Working Paper Series WP-98-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Pappa, Evi, 2005. "New-Keynesian or RBC Transmission? The Effects of Fiscal Shocks in Labour Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5313, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lei Fang & Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Policy Analysis in a Matching Model with Intensive and Extensive Margins," NBER Working Papers 13007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  8. Paustian Matthias, 2007. "Assessing Sign Restrictions," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-33, August.
  9. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1999. "Costly Capital Reallocation and the Effects of Government Spending," NBER Working Papers 6283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Deep Habits," NBER Working Papers 10261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D M, 2005. "Fiscal Policy in the Aftermath of 9/11," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 1-22, February.
  12. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  13. Jon Faust, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," International Finance Discussion Papers 610, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Roberto Perotti, 2007. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 13143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Faust, Jon, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 207-244, December.
  16. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2003. "Fiscal Shocks and Their Consequences," NBER Working Papers 9772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Emily Anderson & Atsushi Inoue & Barbara Rossi, 2012. "Heterogeneous Consumers and Fiscal Policy Shocks," 2012 Meeting Papers 261, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Gerald Carlino & Robert P. Inman, 2013. "Macro Fiscal Policy in Economic Unions: States as Agents," NBER Working Papers 19559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Weonho Yang & Jan Fidrmuc & Sugata Ghosh, 2012. "Macroeconomic Effects of Government Spending Shocks: New Evidence Using Natural Disaster Relief in Korea," CESifo Working Paper Series 3943, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Michael T. Owyang & Sarah Zubairy, 2009. "Who benefits from increased government spending? a state-level analysis," Working Papers 2009-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  5. Craig, Steven G. & Hoang, Edward C., 2011. "State government response to income fluctuations: Consumption, insurance, and capital expenditures," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 343-351, July.

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