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Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach

  • Karel Mertens
  • MortenO. Ravn

Empirical estimates of the impact of government spending shocks disagree on central issues such as the size of output multipliers and the responses of consumption and the real wage. One explanation for the disagreement is that fiscal shocks are often anticipated. Due to misspecification of the information set, anticipation effects may invalidate SVAR estimates of impulse responses. We use economic theory to derive a fiscal SVAR estimator that is applicable when fiscal shocks are anticipated. We study its properties and apply it to US data. We fail to find evidence that anticipation effects overturn the existing findings from the fiscal SVAR literature. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2010.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02361.x
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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 544 (05)
Pages: 393-413

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:544:p:393-413
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  1. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "Does information help recovering structural shocks from past observations?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/166169, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," Caepr Working Papers 2008-013, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  3. Lawrence Christiano & Cosmin L. Ilut & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2010. "Monetary Policy and Stock Market Booms," NBER Working Papers 16402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ravn, Morten O & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2007. "Explaining the Effects of Government Spending Shocks on Consumption and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 6541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1994. "VAR analysis, nonfundamental representations, blaschke matrices," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 307-325, July.
  6. Morten O. Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2004. "Deep Habits," 2004 Meeting Papers 208, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2008. "What's News in Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 14215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Karel Mertens & Morten Ravn, 2010. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks," NBER Working Papers 16289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2006. "Assessing Structural VARs," NBER Working Papers 12353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2007. "Assessing Structural VARs," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 1-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Meier, André & Müller, Gernot, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus with spending reversals," CEPR Discussion Papers 7302, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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