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Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier

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  • Michael Woodford

Abstract

This paper explains the key factors that determine the effectiveness of government purchases as a means of increasing output and employment in New Keynesian models, through a series of simple examples that can be solved analytically. Delays in the adjustment of prices or wages can allow for larger multipliers than exist in the case of fully flexible prices and wages; in a fairly broad class of simple models, the multiplier is 1 in the case that the monetary authority maintains a constant path for real interest rates. The multiplier can be considerably smaller, however, if the monetary authority raises real interest rates in response to increases in inflation or real activity resulting from the fiscal stimulus. A large multiplier is especially plausible when monetary policy is constrained by the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates; in such a case, expected utility is maximized by expanding government purchases to at least partially fill the output gap that would otherwise exist owing to the central bank's inability to cut interest rates. However, it is important in such a case that neither the increased government purchases nor the increased taxes required to finance them be expected to persist beyond the period over which monetary policy is constrained by the zero lower bound.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15714.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15714

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  1. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2010. "Conventional and unconventional monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 229-264.
  2. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Introduction to "Monetary Policy Rules"," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  9. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Miguel Almunia & Agustín Bénétrix & Barry Eichengreen & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Gisela Rua, 2010. "From Great Depression to Great Credit Crisis: similarities, differences and lessons," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 25, pages 219-265, 04.
  15. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2009. "Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 278, Bank for International Settlements.
  16. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  17. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  18. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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  1. Quelle est la taille du multiplicateur budgétaire ?
    by ? in D'un champ l'autre on 2014-01-17 21:59:00
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