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Is There a Fiscal Free Lunch in a Liquidity Trap?

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  • Jesper Linde

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Christopher J. Erceg

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

In this paper, we use a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to examine the effects of an expansion in government spending in a liquidity trap. If the liquidity trap is very prolonged, the spending multiplier can be much larger than in normal circumstances, and the budgetary costs minimal. However, given this fiscal free lunch, it is unclear why policymakers would want to limit the size of fiscal expansion. Our paper addresses this question in a model environment in which the duration of the liquidity trap is determined endogenously, and depends on the size of the fiscal stimulus. We show that even if the multiplier is high for small increases in government spending, it may decrease substantially at higher spending levels; thus, it is crucial to distinguish between the marginal and average responses of output and government debt.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 380.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:380

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  1. Altig, David & Christiano, Lawrence & Eichenbaum, Martin & Lindé, Jesper, 2004. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Working Paper Series 176, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," NBER Working Papers 15714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 1. How Much is Needed and How to Reduce Debt to a Prudent Level?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 932, OECD Publishing.
  3. Rossana MEROLA, 2012. "Monetary policy and fiscal stimulus with the zero lower bound and financial frictions," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012024, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Giancarlo Corsetti & Michael P. Devereux & Luigi Guiso & John Hassler & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2010. "Chapter 3: From Fiscal Rescue to Global Debt," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 71-100, 02.
  5. Stähler, Nikolai & Thomas, Carlos, 2012. "FiMod — A DSGE model for fiscal policy simulations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 239-261.
  6. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh, 2010. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," NBER Working Papers 16479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Coenen, Günter & Straub, Roland & Trabandt, Mathias, 2012. "Gauging the effects of fiscal stimulus packages in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1483, European Central Bank.
  8. repec:ecb:ecbwps:20111429 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O., 2010. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations Driven Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 7931, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Julien Albertini & Arthur Poirier & Jordan Roulleau-Pasdeloup, 2014. "The composition of government spending and the multiplier at the Zero Lower Bound," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-017, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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