Testing for contemporary fiscal policy discretion with real time data
AbstractWe propose a method for indentifying discretionary fiscal policy with real time data. The starting point is the observation that automatic stabilizers should depend on true GDP, while discretionary fiscal policy depends on the information that policy makers have in real time. We approximate the information set of policy makers with GDP data released in real time. True GDP is approximated using the last GDP release. Accordingly, we can compute a real time measurement error. Discretionary fiscal policy can be expected to react to this measurement error, whereas automatic fiscal policy will not. We apply this identification approach in order to test the central identifying assumption of Blanchard and Perotti's (2002) seminal structural VAR. According to this assumption, fiscal policy makers do not react to GDP evolutions contemporaneously in a discretionary fashion. We find that government expenditure is adjusted upward if GDP in real time is lower than true GDP. This suggests that fiscal policy makers can use short-term funds to buy goods and services in response to GDP updates. Our results therefore call the identifying assumption of Blanchard and Perotti's (2002) SVAR into question. --
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2007,24.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
discretionary fiscal policy; real-time data; government spending; structural vector autoregression;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-MAC-2007-09-30 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2007-09-30 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1999. "Costly Capital Reallocation and the Effects of Government Spending," NBER Working Papers 6283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
- Wolff, Guntram B. & Tenhofen, Jörn & Heppke-Falk, Kirsten H., 2006.
"The macroeconomic effects of exogenous fiscal policy shocks in Germany: a disaggregated SVAR analysis,"
Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies
2006,41, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
- Jörn Tenhofen & Guntram B. Wolff & Kirsten H. Heppke-Falk, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Exogenous Fiscal Policy Shocks in Germany: A Disaggregated SVAR Analysis," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 230(3), pages 328-355, June.
- Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002.
"An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
- 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.
- Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001.
"A real-time data set for macroeconomists,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
- Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998.
"Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases,"
NBER Working Papers
6737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 166-206, January.
- Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Understanding the effects of a shock to government purchases," Working Paper Series WP-98-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Olivier Biau & Élie Girard, 2005. "Politique budgétaire et dynamique économique en France. L'approche var structurel," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(3), pages 755-764.
- Raffaela Giordano & Sandro Momigliano & Stefano Neri & Roberto Perotti, 2008.
"The effetcs of fiscal policy in Italy: Evidence from a VAR model,"
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
656, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Giordano, Raffaela & Momigliano, Sandro & Neri, Stefano & Perotti, Roberto, 2007. "The effects of fiscal policy in Italy: Evidence from a VAR model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 707-733, September.
- Alan J. Auerbach, 2002.
"Is there a role for discretionary fiscal policy?,"
Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole,
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 109-150.
- Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Roberto Perotti, 2005.
"Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries,"
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Roberto Perotti, 2004. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Papers 276, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- John Lewis, 2009.
"Fiscal policy in Central and Eastern Europe with real time data: Cyclicality, inertia and the role of EU accession,"
DNB Working Papers
214, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
- John Lewis, 2013. "Fiscal policy in Central and Eastern Europe with real time data: cyclicality, inertia and the role of EU accession," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(23), pages 3347-3359, August.
- Julia Darby & Jacques Melitz, 2011.
"Joint estimates of automatic and discretionary fiscal policy for the OECD,"
1122, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
- Darby, Julia & Melitz, Jacques, 2011. "Joint estimates of automatic and discretionary fiscal policy for the OECD," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-43, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
- Julia Darby & Jacques Melitz, 2011.
"Joint Estimates of Automatic and Discretionary Fiscal Policy: the OECD 1981-2003,"
2011-14, CEPII research center.
- Darby, Julia & Mélitz, Jacques, 2011. "Joint estimates of automatic and discretionary fiscal policy: the OECD 1981-2003," CEPR Discussion Papers 8342, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Julia Darby & Jacques Melitz, 2012. "Joint estimates of automatic and discretionary fiscal policy: the OECD 1981-2003," Heriot-Watt University Economics Discussion Papers 1210, Department of Economics, School of Management and Languages, Heriot Watt University.
- Jacques Melitz & Julia Darby, 2011. "Joint Estimates of Automatic and Discretionary Fiscal Policy: The OECD 1981-2003," Working Papers 2011-11, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Bernoth, Kerstin & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Lewis, John, 2008.
"Did Fiscal Policy Makers Know What They Were Doing? Reassessing Fiscal Policy with Real Time Data,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kerstin Bernoth & Andrew Hughes Hallet & John Lewis, 2008. "Did fiscal policy makers know what they were doing? Reassessing fiscal policy with real-time data," DNB Working Papers 169, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.