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

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  • Karel Mertens
  • MortenO. Ravn

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Karel Mertens & MortenO. Ravn, 2010. "Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 393-413, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:544:p:393-413
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:nbr:nberch:13348 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
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    7. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2012. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated US Tax Policy Shocks," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 145-181, May.
    8. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Deep Habits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 195-218.
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    10. Giancarlo Corsetti & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2012. "Fiscal Stimulus with Spending Reversals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 878-895, November.
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    13. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • 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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