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Using stock returns to identify government spending shocks

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  • Jonas D. M. Fisher
  • Ryan Peters

Abstract

This paper explores a new approach to identifying government spending shocks which avoids many of the shortcomings of existing approaches. The new approach is to identify government spending shocks with statistical innovations to the accumulated excess returns of large US military contractors. This strategy is used to estimate the dynamic responses of output, hours, consumption and real wages to a government spending shock. We find that positive government spending shocks are associated with increases in output, hours, and consumption. Real wages initially decline after a government spending shock and then rise after a year. We estimate the government spending multiplier associated with increases in military spending to be about 0.6 over a horizon of 5 years.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-09-03.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-09-03

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Keywords: Fiscal policy ; Government spending policy ; Stocks;

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  1. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1994. "Error Bands for Impulse Responses," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1085, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Mountford, Andrew & Uhlig, Harald, 2002. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2004. "Fiscal Policy in the Aftermath of 9/11," NBER Working Papers 10430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 166-206, January.
  6. Roberto Perotti, 2007. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 13143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2005. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," NBER Working Papers 11578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Perotti, Roberto, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0168, European Central Bank.
  10. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Roberto Perotti, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers 015, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
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