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Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier

  • Michael Woodford

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)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-35

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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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  1. Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2009. "Conventional and Unconventional Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Christopher Erceg & Jesper Lindé, 2014. "Is There A Fiscal Free Lunch In A Liquidity Trap?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 73-107, 02.
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  9. Miguel Almunia & Agustín S. Bénétrix & Barry Eichengreen & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Gisela Rua, 2009. "From Great Depression to Great Credit Crisis: Similarities, Differences and Lessons," NBER Working Papers 15524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  18. Robert J. Gordon & Robert Krenn, 2010. "The End of the Great Depression 1939-41: Policy Contributions and Fiscal Multipliers," NBER Working Papers 16380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2009. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," Working Paper Series 1090, European Central Bank.
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  25. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2013. "The Cyclical Behavior of the Price-Cost Markup," NBER Working Papers 19099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2009. "Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 278, Bank for International Settlements.
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