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Does State Fiscal Relief during Recessions Increase Employment? Evidence from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

  • Gabriel Chodorow-Reich
  • Laura Feiveson
  • Zachary Liscow
  • William Gui Woolston
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    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 included $88 billion of aid to state governments administered through the Medicaid reimbursement process. We examine the effect of these transfers on states' employment. Because state fiscal relief outlays are endogenous to a state's economic environment, OLS results are biased downward. We address this problem by using a state's prerecession Medicaid spending level to instrument for ARRA state fiscal relief. In our preferred specification, a state's receipt of a marginal $100,000 in Medicaid outlays results in an additional 3.8 job-years, 3.2 of which are outside the government, health, and education sectors. (JEL H75, I18, I38, R23)

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

    Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 118-45

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:118-45
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.3.118
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    1. Todd C. Neumann & Price V. Fishback & Shawn Kantor, 2007. "The Dynamics of Relief Spending and the Private Urban Labor Market During the New Deal," NBER Working Papers 13692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. James M. Poterba, 1993. "State Responses to Fiscal Crisis: The Effects of Budgetary Institutionsand Politics," NBER Working Papers 4375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 16311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
    6. David S. Johnson & Jonathan A. Parker & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2004. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," NBER Working Papers 10784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2009. "Household response to the 2008 tax rebates: survey evidence and aggregate implications," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Clemens, Jeffrey & Miran, Stephen, 2010. "The effects of state budget cuts on employment and income," MPRA Paper 38715, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Daniel J. Wilson, 2010. "Fiscal spending multipliers: evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Working Paper Series 2010-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    10. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-85, September.
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