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A Theory of Countercyclical Government Multiplier

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  • Pascal Michaillat

Abstract

I develop a New Keynesian model in which a type of government multiplier doubles when unemployment rises from 5 percent to 8 percent. This multiplier indicates the additional number of workers employed when one worker is hired in the public sector. Graphically, in equilibrium, an upward-sloping quasi-labor supply intersects a downward-sloping labor demand in a (employment, labor market tightness) plane. Increasing public employment stimulates labor demand, which increases tightness and therefore crowds out private employment. Critically, the quasi-labor supply is convex. Hence, when labor demand is depressed and unemployment is high, the increase in tightness and resulting crowding-out are small.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal Michaillat, 2014. "A Theory of Countercyclical Government Multiplier," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 190-217, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:6:y:2014:i:1:p:190-217
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.6.1.190
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
    2. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Sims, Eric R., 2012. "Confidence and the transmission of government spending shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 235-249.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-955.
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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
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • 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

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