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Government Spending Under Non-Separability: a Theoretical Analysis

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  • L. Marattin
  • A. Palestini

Abstract

In this paper we derive analytic implicit form conditions for the qualitative analysis of government spending multipliers and the optimal level of government spending in presence of non-separability between private and public components of aggregate demand. Using the simplest neo-classical flexible price model with no capital accumulation, we show that Edgeworth dependence is not a suitable condition to automatically assess the signs of the consumption and income multipliers, for which a more complex analysis must be carried out. We propose a detailed investigation of the form and the characteristics of the involved utility functions, which are crucial to such evaluation. We also show that if Edgeworth complementarity is strong enough, a public spending stimulus can raise at the same time private consumption and real activity. In order to reconcile our general framework with existing literature, we discuss recent examples of non-separable functional forms from the standpoint of our results, and argue that their consistency relies on specific assumptions about steady- state points.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp722.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp722

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  1. Agustín García & Julián Ramajo, 2005. "Fiscal policy and private consumption behaviour: The Spanish case," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 115-135, January.
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