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The analytics of SVARs: a unified framework to measure fiscal multipliers

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  • Dario Caldara
  • Christophe Kamps

Abstract

Does fiscal policy stimulate output? SVARs have been used to address this question but no stylized facts have emerged. We derive analytical relationships between the output elasticities of fiscal variables and fiscal multipliers. We show that standard identification schemes imply different priors on elasticities, generating a large dispersion in multiplier estimates. We then use extra-model information to narrow the set of empirically plausible elasticities, allowing for sharper inference on multipliers. Our results for the U.S. for the period 1947-2006 suggest that the probability of the tax multiplier being larger than the spending multiplier is below 0.5 at all horizons.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-20.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-20

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  1. Karel Mertens & Morten Overgaard Ravn, 2011. "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 27-54, January.
  2. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "Does information help recovering structural shocks from past observations?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 455-465, 04-05.
  3. Chahrour, Ryan & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2010. "A Model-Based Evaluation of the Debate on the Size of the Tax Multiplier," CEPR Discussion Papers 7930, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Fabio Canova & Evi Pappa, 2003. "Price differentials in monetary unions: The role of fiscal shocks," Economics Working Papers 923, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2005.
  5. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O, 2012. "A Reconciliation of SVAR and Narrative Estimates of Tax Multipliers," CEPR Discussion Papers 8973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Juan F. Rubio-Ram�rez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2010. "Structural Vector Autoregressions: Theory of Identification and Algorithms for Inference," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 665-696.
  7. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," NBER Working Papers 14028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Leeper, Eric M. & Plante, Michael & Traum, Nora, 2010. "Dynamics of fiscal financing in the United States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 304-321, June.
  9. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca, 2010. "Fiscal Foresight and the Effects of Goverment Spending," CEPR Discussion Papers 7840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Caldara, Dario & Kamps, Christophe, 2008. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks? A VAR-based comparative analysis," Working Paper Series 0877, European Central Bank.
  11. Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2003. " Fiscal Policy in the New Neoclassical Synthesis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 911-29, December.
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