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The Household Effects of Government Spending

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  • Francesco Giavazzi

    ()

  • Michael McMahon

    ()

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the effects of fiscal policy by studying, using household-level data, how households respond to shifts in government spending. Our identification strategy allows us to control for time-specific aggregate effects, such as the stance of monetary policy or the U.S.-wide business cycle. However, it potentially prevents us from estimating the wealth effects associated with a shift in spending. We find significant heterogeneity in households' response to a spending shock; the effects appear vary over time depending, among other factors, on the state of business cycle and, at a lower frequency, on the composition of employment (such as the share of workers in part-time jobs). Shifts in spending could also have important distributional effects that are lost when estimating an aggregate multiplier. Heads of households working relatively few (weekly) hours, for instance, suffer from a spending shock of the type we analyzed: their consumption falls, their hours increase and their real wages fall.

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File URL: http://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/working-papers/2012/022012.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2012-02.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2012-02

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  1. Emi Nakamura & J?n Steinsson, 2014. "Fiscal Stimulus in a Monetary Union: Evidence from US Regions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 753-92, March.
  2. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2011. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," NBER Working Papers 17444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2010. "Industry evidence on the effects of government spending," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Valerio Ercolani, 2010. "The Precautionary Effect of Government Expenditures on Private Consumption," 2010 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. 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.
  6. Atkeson, A. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Wealth-Varying Intertemporal Elasticities of Substitution Evidence from Panel and Aggregate Data," RCER Working Papers 303, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Marco Del Negro, 1999. "Asymmetric shocks among U.S. states," Working Papers 9903, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  8. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
  9. Francesco Giavazzi & Michael F. McMahon, 2008. "Policy Uncertainty and Precautionary Savings," CEP Discussion Papers dp0863, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Joseph Cullen & Price V. Fishback, 2006. "Did Big Government's Largesse Help the Locals? The Implications of WWII Spending for Local Economic Activity, 1939-1958," NBER Working Papers 12801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 2003. "The Representative Consumer in the Neoclassical Growth Model with Idiosyncratic Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 368-380, April.
  12. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Working Papers 17447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
  14. Constantinides, George M, 1982. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and without Demand Aggregation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 253-67, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Alberto Alesina & Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2012. "The Output Effect of Fiscal Consolidations," NBER Working Papers 18336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pieroni, Luca & Lorusso, Marco, 2013. "The Role of Fiscal Policy Components in Private Consumption: a Re-examination of the Effects of Military and Civilian Spending," MPRA Paper 47878, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Daniel Wilson & Sylvain Leduc, 2012. "Roads to Prosperity or Bridges to Nowhere? Theory and Evidence on the Impact of Public Infrastructure Investment," 2012 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Luiz de Mello, 2013. "What Can Fiscal Policy Do in the Current Recession? A Review of Recent Literature and Policy Options," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 204(1), pages 113-139, March.

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