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Using State Pension Shocks to Estimate Fiscal Multipliers since the Great Recession


  • Daniel Shoag


Has government spending raised income and employment since 2008? I use new data on state pension returns during the Great Recession to recover exogenous changes in spending. Instrumenting with these return shocks, I estimate that each dollar of windfall-financed spending raised local incomes by $1.43 and every additional $22,011 of spending created one contemporaneous job. These estimates are similar to those found in Shoag (2010) despite the non-overlapping datasets. Unlike Shoag (2010), however, the bulk of the employment increase post-2008 stems from decreases in unemployment rather than increased labor force participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Shoag, 2013. "Using State Pension Shocks to Estimate Fiscal Multipliers since the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 121-124, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:121-24 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.121

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Emmanuel Farhi & Ivan Werning, "undated". "Fiscal Multipliers: Liquidity Traps and Currency Unions," Working Paper 78556, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    2. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
    3. repec:nbr:nberch:13344 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daniel J. Wilson, 2012. "Fiscal Spending Jobs Multipliers: Evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 251-282, August.
    5. Jeffrey Clemens & Stephen Miran, 2012. "Fiscal Policy Multipliers on Subnational Government Spending," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 46-68, May.
    6. Lauren Cohen & Joshua Coval & Christopher Malloy, 2011. "Do Powerful Politicians Cause Corporate Downsizing?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(6), pages 1015-1060.
    7. Antonio Acconcia & Giancarlo Corsetti & Saverio Simonelli, 2014. "Mafia and Public Spending: Evidence on the Fiscal Multiplier from a Quasi-experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2185-2209, July.
    8. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Laura Feiveson & Zachary Liscow & William Gui Woolston, 2012. "Does State Fiscal Relief during Recessions Increase Employment? Evidence from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 118-145, August.
    9. Robert J. Barro & Charles J. Redlick, 2011. "Macroeconomic Effects From Government Purchases and Taxes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 51-102.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan H. Murphy, 2015. "Unconventional Confidence Bands in the Literature on the Government Spending Multiplier," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 12(1), pages 72-83, January.
    2. Ercolani, Valerio & Pavoni, Nicola, 2014. "The Precautionary Saving Effect of Government Consumption," CEPR Discussion Papers 10067, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Matthias Uhl, 2014. "State Fiscal Policies and Regional Economic Activity," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201446, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Rendahl, P., 2012. "Fiscal Policy in an Unemployment Crisis," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1211, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Fuchs-Schündeln, N. & Hassan, T.A., 2016. "Natural Experiments in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    6. Gonzalo Caballero, 2013. "Effects of Fiscal and Monetary Policy in the Great Recession," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(2), pages 1-4, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes


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