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Does Government Spending Crowd in Private Consumption? Theory and Empirical Evidence for the Euro Area

  • Günter Coenen
  • Roland Straub

In this paper, we revisit the effects of government spending shocks on private consumption which have been at centre stage of the macroeconomic policy debate for quite a long time. We conduct our analysis in an estimated model of the euro area, which is representative of a new generation of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models usable for quantitative policy analysis. We show that the inclusion of non-Ricardian households, which simply consume their current disposable income, is in general conducive to raising the level of consumption in response to government spending shocks when compared with a benchmark specification without non-Ricardian households. However, we find that there is only a fairly small chance that government spending shocks crowd in consumption, mainly because the estimated share of non-Ricardian households is relatively low, but also because of the large negative wealth effect induced by the highly persistent nature of government spending shocks. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal International Finance.

Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 435-470

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Handle: RePEc:bla:intfin:v:8:y:2005:i:3:p:435-470
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  1. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2005. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  3. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2002. "Should the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve be concerned about fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 333-389.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Galí, Jordi & López-Salido, J David & Vallés Liberal, Javier, 2005. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," CEPR Discussion Papers 5212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Loss function-based evaluation of DSGE models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-670.
  7. Adolfson, Malin & Laseen, Stefan & Linde, Jesper & Villani, Mattias, 2007. "Bayesian estimation of an open economy DSGE model with incomplete pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 481-511, July.
  8. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
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  11. Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2003. " Fiscal Policy in the New Neoclassical Synthesis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 911-29, December.
  12. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  13. Florin O. Bilbiie & Roland Straub, 2004. "Fiscal Policy, Business Cycles and Labor-Market Fluctuations," MNB Working Papers 2004/6, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
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  16. Roberto Perotti, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers 015, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  17. Juillard, Michel & Karam, Philippe & Laxton, Douglas & Pesenti, Paolo, 2006. "Welfare-based monetary policy rules in an estimated DSGE model of the US economy," Working Paper Series 0613, European Central Bank.
  18. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Perotti, Roberto, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0168, European Central Bank.
  21. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  23. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
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