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Fiscal Policy Multipliers on Subnational Government Spending

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  • Jeffrey Clemens
  • Stephen Miran

Abstract

Balanced budget requirements lead to substantial pro-cyclicality in state government spending, with the stringency of a state's rules driving the pace at which it must adjust to shocks. We show that fiscal institutions can generate natural experiments in deficit-financed spending that are informative regarding fiscal stabilization policy. Alternative sources of variation in subnational fiscal policy often implicitly involve "windfall" financing, which precludes any effect of future debt or taxation on current consumption and investment. Consistent with a role for these "Ricardian" effects, our estimates are smaller than those in related studies, implying an on-impact multiplier below 1. (JEL C51, E32, E62, H72)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:46-68
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.2.46
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • 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
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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