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How does government spending stimulate consumption?

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  • Daniel P. Murphy

Abstract

Recent empirical work finds that government spending shocks cause aggregate consumption to increase over the business cycle, contrary to the predictions of Neoclassical and New Keynesian models. This paper proposes a mechanism to account for the consumption increase that builds on the framework of imperfect information in Lucas (1972) and Lorenzoni (2009). In my model, owners of firms targeted by an increase in government spending perceive an increase in their permanent income relative to their future tax liabilities. Owners of firms not targeted remain unaware of the implicit increase in future tax liabilities, causing aggregate consumption to increase. A testable implication of the proposed model is that the value of firms should increase, implying all else equal an increase in aggregate stock returns. This prediction of the model is shown to be consistent with empirical evidence.

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File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/institute/wpapers/2013/0157.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper with number 157.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:157

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Keywords: Fiscal policy;

References

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  1. Rüdiger Bachmann & Eric R. Sims, 2011. "Confidence and the Transmission of Government Spending Shocks," NBER Working Papers 17063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido, 2003. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Working Papers 73, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Barbara Rossi & Sarah Zubairy, 2011. "What is the Importance of Monetary and Fiscal Shocks in Explaining US Macroeconomic Fluctuations?," Working Papers 11-02, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's All in the Timing," NBER Working Papers 15464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  7. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "What Can Survey Forecasts Tell Us about Information Rigidities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 116 - 159.
  8. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," Discussion Papers 0910-09, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  9. Sílvia Gonçalves & Lutz Kilian, 2003. "Bootstrapping Autoregressions with Conditional Heteroskedasticity of Unknown Form," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-17, CIRANO.
  10. JonasD.M. Fisher & Ryan Peters, 2010. "Using Stock Returns to Identify Government Spending Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 414-436, 05.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  12. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  13. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2010. "Industry Evidence on the Effects of Government Spending," NBER Working Papers 15754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert J. Barro & Charles J. Redlick, 2011. "Macroeconomic Effects From Government Purchases and Taxes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 51-102.
  15. 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.
  16. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2013. "The Cyclical Behavior of the Price-Cost Markup," NBER Working Papers 19099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Dean Croushore, 2008. "Frontiers of real-time data analysis," Working Papers 08-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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