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Does neoclassical theory account for the effects of big fiscal shocks? Evidence from World War II

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  • Ellen R. McGrattan
  • Lee E. Ohanian

Abstract

There is much debate about the usefulness of the neoclassical growth model for assessing the macroeconomic impact of fiscal shocks. We test the theory using data from World War II, which is by far the largest fiscal shock in the history of the United States. We take observed changes in fiscal policy during the war as inputs into a parameterized, dynamic general equilibrium model and compare the values of all variables in the model to the actual values of these variables in the data. Our main finding is that the theory quantitatively accounts for macroeconomic activity during this big fiscal shock.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 315.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:315

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Keywords: Economic history ; Fiscal policy ; Macroeconomics - Econometric models;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sharon Harrison & Mark Weder, 2009. "Technological Change and the Roaring Twenties: A Neoclassical Perspective," Working Papers 0902, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
  2. Rafael Domenech & Javier Andres, 2005. "Fiscal Rules and Macroeconomic Stability," Working Papers 0501, International Economics Institute, University of Valencia, revised Nov 2005.
  3. Eugene N. White & Filippo Occhino & Kim Oosterlinck, 2007. "How Occupied France Financed Its Own Exploitation in World War II," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 295-299, May.
  4. Stéphane Auray & Aurélien Eyquem & Frédéric Jouneau-Sion, 2009. "Riots, Battles and Cycles," Cahiers de recherche 09-01, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke, revised 05 Apr 2009.
  5. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  6. Hui He, 2009. "What Drives the Skill Premium: Technological Change or Demographic Variation?," Working Papers 200911, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  7. Gunji, Hiroshi & Miyazaki, Kenji, 2011. "Estimates of average marginal tax rates on factor incomes in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 81-106, June.
  8. Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, 2011. "Optimal fertility during World War I," MPRA Paper 35709, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte, 2006. "Stark optimal fiscal policies and sovereign lending," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 337-352.
  10. Ellen R. McGrattan & Lee E. Ohanian, 2008. "Does neoclassical theory account for the effects of big fiscal shocks? Evidence from World War II," Staff Report 315, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Carlson Mark A & King Thomas & Lewis Kurt, 2011. "Distress in the Financial Sector and Economic Activity," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, June.
  12. Angeletos, George-Marios & Panousi, Vasia, 2009. "Revisiting the supply side effects of government spending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 137-153, March.
  13. Tenhofen, Jörn & Wolff, Guntram B., 2007. "Does anticipation of government spending matter? Evidence from an expectation augmented VAR," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2007,14, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.

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