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Fiscal policy and growth

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  • Dong Fu
  • Lori L. Taylor
  • Mine K. Yücel
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    Abstract

    In the literature neither taxes, government spending nor deficits are robustly correlated with economic growth when evaluated individually. The lack of correlation may arise from the inability of any single budgetary component to fully capture the stance of fiscal policy. We use pair-wise combinations of fiscal indicators to assess the relationship between fiscal policy and U.S. growth. ; We develop a VAR methodology for evaluating simultaneous shocks to more than one variable and use it to examine the impulse responses for simultaneous, unexpected and equivalent structural shocks to pair-wise combinations of fiscal indicators. We also exploit the identity relationship between taxes, spending and deficits and follow Sims and Zha (1998) to evaluate an unexpected structural shock to one included fiscal indicator, holding constant the other included indicator. We find that an increase in the size of federal government leads to slower economic growth, that the deficit is an unreliable indicator of the stance of fiscal policy, and that tax revenues are the most consistent indicator of fiscal policy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 0301.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:03-01

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    Keywords: Taxation;

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    1. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2002. "Fiscal Policy, Profits, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 3353756, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x.
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    7. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    8. Sims, Christopher A., 1992. "Interpreting the macroeconomic time series facts : The effects of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 975-1000, June.
    9. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
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    12. Kocherlakota, Narayana R & Yi, Kei-Mu, 1997. "Is There Endogenous Long-Run Growth? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(2), pages 235-62, May.
    13. Engen, Eric M. & Skinner, Jonathan, 1996. "Taxation and Economic Growth," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 617-42, December.
    14. Barro, Robert J, 1978. "Unanticipated Money, Output, and the Price Level in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 549-80, August.
    15. Robert J. Barro, 1976. "Unanticipated Money Growth and Unemployment in the United States," Working Papers 234, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    16. Martin, Ricardo & Fardmanesh, Mohsen, 1990. " Fiscal Variables and Growth: A Cross-Sectional Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 64(3), pages 239-51, March.
    17. Vito Tanzi & Howell H. Zee, 1997. "Fiscal Policy and Long-Run Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 179-209, June.
    18. Stokey, Nancy L & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995. "Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 519-50, June.
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