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Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier

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  • Michael Woodford

Abstract

This paper explains the key factors that determine the output multiplier of government purchases in New Keynesian models, through a series of simple examples that can be solved analytically. Sticky prices or wages allow for larger multipliers than in a neoclassical model, though the size of the multiplier depends crucially on the monetary policy response. A multiplier well in excess of one is possible when monetary policy is constrained by the zero lower bound, and in this case welfare increases if government purchases expand to partially fill the output gap that arises from the inability to lower interest rates. (JEL E12, E23, E32, E62, H20, H50)

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Woodford, 2011. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-35, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:1-35
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.1.1
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • 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
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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