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The Effects of Fiscal Stimulus: Evidence from the 2009 Cash for Clunkers Program

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  • Atif Mian
  • Amir Sufi

Abstract

We evaluate the impact of the 2009 Cash for Clunkers program on short- and medium-run auto purchases. Our empirical strategy exploits variation across U.S. cities in ex ante exposure to the program as measured by the number of "clunkers" in the city as of summer 2008. We find that the program induced the purchase of an additional 370,000 cars in July and August 2009. However, we find strong evidence of reversal; high clunker counties bought fewer autos in the 10 months after the program expired, which offset most of the initial purchases. We find no evidence of an effect on employment, house prices, or household default rates in cities with higher exposure to the program. JEL Codes: H20, E62. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 127 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 1107-1142

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Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:3:p:1107-1142

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  1. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas Souleles, 2007. "The reaction of consumer spending and debt to tax rebates; evidence from consumer credit data," Working Papers 07-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Atif R. Mian & Amir Sufi, 2010. "Household Leverage and the Recession of 2007 to 2009," NBER Working Papers 15896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496, November.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
  5. Janice C. Eberly, . "Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 22-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Ogaki, Masao & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1998. "Intertemporal substitution and durable goods: long-run data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 85-90, October.
  7. David S. Johnson & Jonathan A. Parker & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2004. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," NBER Working Papers 10784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael Woodford, 2011. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-35, January.
  9. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1676-1706, August.
  10. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "Consumer Spending and the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008," 2011 Meeting Papers 254, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
  12. Daniel J. Wilson, 2010. "Fiscal spending multipliers: evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Working Paper Series 2010-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  1. Why Rick Perry Should Like Alan Krueger, Obama’s New Economic Chief
    by Mark Bergen in Mark Bergen (Econometro) on 2011-08-31 20:08:02
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "Consumer Spending and the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008," 2011 Meeting Papers 254, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. James Kahn & Adam Copeland, 2012. "Durable Goods Production and Inventory Dynamics: An Application to the Automobile Industry," 2012 Meeting Papers 270, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Cwik, Tobias J. & Wieland, Volker, 2009. "Keynesian government spending multipliers and spillovers in the Euro area," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/25, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Boomhower, Judson & Davis, Lucas W., 2014. "A credible approach for measuring inframarginal participation in energy efficiency programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 67-79.
  5. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi & Francesco Trebbi, 2011. "Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy," IMES Discussion Paper Series 11-E-27, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  6. Agarwal, Sumit & Amromin, Eugene & Ben-David, Itzhak & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Piskorski, Tomasz & Seru, Amit, 2013. "Policy Intervention in Debt Renegotiation: Evidence from the Home Affordable Modification Program," Working Paper Series WP-2013-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 2011. "The Long Slump," NBER Working Papers 16741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lenski, Shoshannah M. & Keoleian, Gregory A. & Moore, Michael R., 2013. "An assessment of two environmental and economic benefits of ‘Cash for Clunkers’," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 173-180.
  9. Adam Copeland & James Kahn, 2011. "The production impact of "cash-for-clunkers": implications for stabilization policy," Staff Reports 503, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Casaburi, Lorenzo & Troiano, Ugo, 2013. "Ghost-House Busters: The Electoral Response to a Large Anti Tax Evasion Program," MPRA Paper 52242, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Mark R. Jacobsen & Arthur A. van Benthem, 2013. "Vehicle Scrappage and Gasoline Policy," NBER Working Papers 19055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.

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