Are government spending multipliers greater during periods of slack? evidence from 20th century historical data
AbstractA key question that has arisen during recent debates is whether government spending multipliers are larger during times when resources are idle. This paper seeks to shed light on this question by analyzing new quarterly historical data covering multiple large wars and depressions in the U.S. and Canada. Using an extension of Ramey’s (2011) military news series and Jordà’s (2005) method for estimating impulse responses, we find no evidence that multipliers are greater during periods of high unemployment in the U.S. In every case, the estimated multipliers are below unity. We do find some evidence of higher multipliers during periods of slack in Canada, with some multipliers above unity.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2013-004.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Michael T. Owyang & Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2013. "Are Government Spending Multipliers Greater During Periods of Slack? Evidence from 20th Century Historical Data," NBER Working Papers 18769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-02-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2013-02-16 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2013-02-16 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2013-02-16 (Public Economics)
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