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A Model-Based Evaluation of the Debate on the Size of the Tax Multiplier

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  • Ryan Chahrour
  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé
  • Martín Uribe

Abstract

The SVAR and narrative approaches to estimating tax multipliers deliver significantly different results. The former yields multipliers of about 1 percent, whereas the latter produces much larger multipliers of about 3 percent. The SVAR and narrative approaches differ along two important dimensions: the identification scheme and the reduced-form transmission mechanism. This paper uses a DSGE-model approach to evaluate the hypothesis that the different tax multipliers stemming from the SVAR and narrative approaches are due to differences in the assumed reduced-form transmission mechanisms. The main finding of the paper is that in the context of the DSGE model employed this hypothesis is rejected. Instead, the observed differences in estimated multipliers are due either to both models failing to identify the same tax shock, or to small-sample uncertainty.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16169.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Publication status: published as Ryan Chahrour & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2012. "A Model-Based Evaluation of the Debate on the Size of the Tax Multiplier," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 28-45, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16169

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  1. Karel Mertens & Morten Overgaard Ravn, 2010. "Online Appendix to "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks"," Technical Appendices 09-221, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  2. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
  3. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O., 2009. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7370, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2011. "Business Cycles With A Common Trend in Neutral and Investment-Specific Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 122-135, January.
  6. Morten O. Ravn & Karel Mertens, 2009. "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy shocks," 2009 Meeting Papers 480, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Carlo A. Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2010. "Reconciling VAR-based and Narrative Measures of the Tax-Multiplier," Working Papers 361, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Clemens and Timothy N. Ogden, 2014. "Migration as a Strategy for Household Finance: A Research Agenda on Remittances, Payments, and Development- Working Paper 354," Working Papers 354, Center for Global Development.
  2. J. Stephen Ferris, 2010. "Fiscal Policy from a Public Choice Perspective," Carleton Economic Papers 10-10, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  3. Perotti, Roberto, 2011. "The Effects of Tax Shocks on Output: Not So Large, But Not Small Either," CEPR Discussion Papers 8252, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Roberto Perotti, 2011. "The Effects of Tax Shocks on Output: Not So Large, But Not Small Either," NBER Working Papers 16786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Roberto perotti, 2011. "Expectations and Fiscal Policy: An Empirical Investigation," Working Papers 429, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2012. "Measuring Tax Multipliers: The Narrative Method in Fiscal VARs," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 69-94, May.
  7. Dario Caldara & Christophe Kamps, 2012. "The analytics of SVARs: a unified framework to measure fiscal multipliers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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