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Optimal government spending with labor market frictions


  • Linnemann, Ludger
  • Schabert, Andreas


We study optimal government spending in a business cycle model with labor income taxes and unemployment due to hiring costs. Labor market frictions raise the optimal steady state ratio of government spending to private consumption. The labor tax rate is higher since profits are taxed that arise from employed workers which save hirings costs. For calibrated examples, the quantitative effect of labor market frictions on optimal fiscal policy is small. In the short run, optimal policy involves a strongly procyclical reaction of the tax rate to technology and preference shocks, while the ratio of public to private spending is close to flat. This ratio is, however, markedly countercyclical if taxes are constrained to be constant over the cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2012. "Optimal government spending with labor market frictions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 795-811.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:36:y:2012:i:5:p:795-811 DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2012.02.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2010. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-30, April.
    2. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity in the New Keynesian model with search frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 706-727, April.
    3. Faia, Ester, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy rules with labor market frictions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1600-1621, May.
    4. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2009. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 38-86, February.
    5. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
    6. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Larch, Mario & Lechthaler, Wolfgang, 2016. "Buy National And The Business Cycle," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(05), pages 1196-1218, July.

    More about this item


    Optimal fiscal policy; Government spending; Labor market frictions; Unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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