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Targeted Transfers and the Fiscal Response to the Great Recession

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  • Hyunseung Oh
  • Ricardo Reis

Abstract

Between 2007 and 2009, government expenditures increased rapidly across the OECD countries. While economic research on the impact of government purchases has flourished, in the data, about three quarters of the increase in expenditures in the United States (and more in other countries) was in government transfers. We document this fact, and show that the increase in U.S. spending on retirement, disability, and medical care has been as high as the increase in government purchases. We argue that future research should focus on the positive impact of transfers. Towards this, we present a model in which there is no representative agent and Ricardian equivalence does not hold because of uncertainty, imperfect credit markets, and nominal rigidities. Targeted lump-sum transfers are expansionary both because of a neoclassical wealth effect and because of a Keynesian aggregate demand effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16775.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16775

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  1. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Drautzburg, Thorsten & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "Fiscal stimulus and distortionary taxation," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-037, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Kaplan, Greg & Violante, Giovanni L, 2011. "A Model of the Consumption Response to Fiscal Stimulus Payments," CEPR Discussion Papers 8562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ricardo Reis, 2013. "The Portuguese Slump and Crash and the Euro Crisis," NBER Working Papers 19288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Oliver Denk & Robert P. Hagemann & Patrick Lenain & Valentin Somma, 2013. "Inequality and Poverty in the United States: Public Policies for Inclusive Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1052, OECD Publishing.
  5. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christopher Reicher, 2013. "A set of estimated fiscal rules for a cross-section of countries: Stabilization and consolidation through which instruments?," Kiel Working Papers 1850, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Ricco, Giovanni & Ellahie, Atif, 2012. "Government Spending Reloaded: Fundamentalness and Heterogeneity in Fiscal SVARs," MPRA Paper 42105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. John B. Taylor, 2011. "An Empirical Analysis of the Revival of Fiscal Activism in the 2000s," Discussion Papers 10-031, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Ben Tengelsen, 2012. "Winners and Losers in the Global Financial Crisis," BYU Macroeconomics and Computational Laboratory Working Paper Series 2012-03, Brigham Young University, Department of Economics, BYU Macroeconomics and Computational Laboratory.
  10. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-85, September.
  11. Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti, 2011. "Tax Cuts, Redistribution, and Borrowing Constraints," Working Papers 408, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. Gonzalo Caballero, 2013. "Effects of Fiscal and Monetary Policy in the Great Recession," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(2), pages 15-18, September.
  13. Gabriele Galati & John Lewis & Steven Poelhekke & Chen Zhou, 2011. "Have market views on the sustainability of fiscal burdens influenced monetary authorities' credibility?," DNB Working Papers 304, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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