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Optimal Government Spending and Unemployment

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Author Info

  • Ludger Linnemann

    ()
    (University of Bonn)

  • Andreas Schabert

    ()
    (University of Dortmund)

Abstract

We study optimal government spending in a business cycle model with frictional unemployment. The Ramsey optimal policy is contrasted with a reference policy which would be first best in a frictionless economy. Results are: the Ramsey policy i) implies a higher steady state ratio of government spending to private consumption than the reference policy; ii) is procyclical under technology shocks and countercyclical under demand shocks (while the public spending ratio to private consumption is always countercyclical); iii) stabilizes employment, in some cases even at the cost of higher consumption volatility; iv) is qualitatively unaltered in a sticky price version with jointly optimal monetary and fiscal policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 08-024/2.

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Date of creation: 06 Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20080024

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: Optimal fiscal policy; government spending; labor market frictions; unemployment; stabilization policy;

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References

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  1. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-52, August.
  2. King, R.G. & Baxter, M., 1990. "Fiscal Policy In General Equilibrium," RCER Working Papers 244, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  4. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  5. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
  6. Jordi Gali & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in a Currency Union," NBER Working Papers 11815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Mayer, Eric & Stähler, Nikolai, 2009. "The debt brake: business cycle and welfare consequences of Germany's new fiscal policy rule," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,24, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.

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