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On the Size of Fiscal Multipliers: A Counterfactual Analysis

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  • Jan Kuckuck

    ()
    (Universitaet Osnabrueck)

  • Frank Westermann

    ()
    (Universitaet Osnabrueck)

Abstract

The Structural Vector Auto-regression (SVAR) approach to estimating fiscal multipliers, following the seminal paper by Blanchard and Perotti (2002), has been widely applied in the literature. In our paper we discuss the interpretation of these estimates and suggest that they are more useful for forecasting purposes than for policy advice. Our key point is that policy instruments often react to each other. We analyze a data set from the US and document that these interactions are economically and statistically significant. Increases in spending have been financed by subsequent increases in taxes. Increases in taxes have been complemented by additional spending cuts in subsequent quarters. In a counterfactual analysis we report fiscal multipliers that abstract from these dynamic responses of policy instruments to each other.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Empirical Economic Research in its series Working Papers with number 96.

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Length: 12
Date of creation: 28 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iee:wpaper:wp0096

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Keywords: Fiscal policy; government spending; net revenues; structural vector autoregression;

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References

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  1. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ramey, Valerie, 1993. "How important is the credit channel in the transmission of monetary policy?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-45, December.
  3. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
  4. Troy Davig, Eric Leeper, 2009. "Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interactions And Fiscal Stimulus," Caepr Working Papers 2009-010, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  5. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise if the Government Buys More Output?," NBER Working Papers 15496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco & Perego, Jacopo, 2011. "Country Heterogeneity and the International Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8517, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 1980. "Output Effects of Government Purchases," NBER Working Papers 0432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias J. & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2009. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/17, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Ramey, Valerie A. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1998. "Costly capital reallocation and the effects of government spending," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 145-194, June.
  12. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
  13. Olivier J. Blanchard & Daniel Leigh, 2013. "Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers," IMF Working Papers 13/1, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 2011. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," IMF Working Papers 11/52, International Monetary Fund.
  15. 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.
  16. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  17. Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Roberto Perotti, 2004. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Papers 276, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  19. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-85, September.
  20. Harald Uhlig, 2010. "Some Fiscal Calculus," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 30-34, May.
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