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Is there a fiscal free lunch in a liquidity trap?

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Author Info

  • Christopher J. Erceg
  • Jesper Linde

Abstract

This paper uses a DSGE model to examine the effects of an expansion in government spending in a liquidity trap. If the liquidity trap is very prolonged, the spending multiplier can be much larger than in normal circumstances, and the budgetary costs minimal. But given this "fiscal free lunch," it is unclear why policymakers would want to limit the size of fiscal expansion. Our paper addresses this question in a model environment in which the duration of the liquidity trap is determined endogenously, and depends on the size of the fiscal stimulus. We show that even if the multiplier is high for small increases in government spending, it may decrease substantially at higher spending levels; thus, it is crucial to distinguish between the marginal and average responses of output and government debt.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 1003.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1003

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Fiscal policy ; Liquidity (Economics);

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References

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  1. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Ryan Peters, 2009. "Using stock returns to identify government spending shocks," Working Paper Series WP-09-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Bodenstein, Martin & Erceg, Christopher & Guerrieri, Luca, 2010. "The Effects of Foreign Shocks When Interest Rates Are at Zero," CEPR Discussion Papers 8006, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2011. "What Fiscal Policy is Effective at Zero Interest Rates?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25, pages 59-112 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2009. "Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 14630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2006. "SIGMA: a new open economy model for policy analysis," International Finance Discussion Papers 835, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  7. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 11034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Klaus Adam & Roberto M. Billi, 2007. "Monetary conservatism and fiscal policy," Research Working Paper RWP 07-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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  10. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O., 2010. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations Driven Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 7931, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2009. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," Working Paper Series 1090, European Central Bank.
  14. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
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  16. Malin Adolfson & Stefan Laséen & Jesper Lindé & Mattias Villani, 2005. "The Role of Sticky Prices in an Open Economy DSGE Model: A Bayesian Investigation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 444-457, 04/05.
  17. Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's All in the Timing," NBER Working Papers 15464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  19. Christiano, Lawrence & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Shocks, structures or monetary policies? The Euro Area and US after 2001," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 2476-2506, August.
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  22. Jung, Taehun & Teranishi, Yuki & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy at the Zero-Interest-Rate Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 813-35, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stähler, Nikolai & Thomas, Carlos, 2012. "FiMod — A DSGE model for fiscal policy simulations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 239-261.
  2. repec:ecb:ecbwps:20111429 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O., 2010. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations Driven Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 7931, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Merola, Rossana, 2010. "Financial frictions and the zero lower bound on interest rates: a DSGE analysis," MPRA Paper 29365, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh, 2010. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1016, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Coenen, Günter & Straub, Roland & Trabandt, Mathias, 2012. "Gauging the effects of fiscal stimulus packages in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1483, European Central Bank.
  7. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," Discussion Papers 0910-09, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  8. Julien Albertini & Arthur Poirier & Jordan Roulleau-Pasdeloup, 2014. "The composition of government spending and the multiplier at the Zero Lower Bound," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-017, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  9. Giancarlo Corsetti & Michael P. Devereux & Luigi Guiso & John Hassler & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2010. "Chapter 3: From Fiscal Rescue to Global Debt," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 71-100, 02.
  10. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 1. How Much is Needed and How to Reduce Debt to a Prudent Level?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 932, OECD Publishing.

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