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The 2009 Recovery Act: Stimulus at the extensive and intensive labor margins

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  • Dupor, Bill
  • Mehkari, M. Saif

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of government stimulus spending on a novel aspect of the labor market: the differential impact of spending on the total wage bill versus employment. We analyze the 2009 Recovery Act via instrumental variables using a new instrument, the spending done by federal agencies that were not instructed to target funds towards harder hit regions. We find a moderate positive effect on jobs created/saved (i.e., the “extensive margin”) and also a significant increase in wage payments to workers whose job status was safe without Recovery Act funds (i.e., the “intensive margin”). Our point estimates imply that roughly one-half of the wage payments resulting from the act were paid at the intensive margin. To provide a theoretical underpinning for the estimates, we build a micro-founded dynamic model in which a firm meets new government demand with a combination of new hiring and increasing existing workers׳ average hours. Faced with hiring costs and an overtime premium, the firm responds by increasing hours along both margins. Our model analysis also provides insight into how government spending policy should be structured to lower the cost of generating new jobs. Finally, we catalogue survey evidence from Recovery Act fund recipients that reinforces the importance of the intensive labor margin.

Suggested Citation

  • Dupor, Bill & Mehkari, M. Saif, 2016. "The 2009 Recovery Act: Stimulus at the extensive and intensive labor margins," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 208-228.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:85:y:2016:i:c:p:208-228
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.01.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Cerrato & Francesco Filippucci, 2022. "The Impact of Austerity Policies on Local Income: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," Working Papers halshs-03665241, HAL.
    2. Bill Dupor & Peter B. McCrory, 2018. "A Cup Runneth Over: Fiscal Policy Spillovers from the 2009 Recovery Act," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(611), pages 1476-1508, June.
    3. Joonkyu Choi & Veronika Penciakova & Felipe Saffie, 2021. "Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2021-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    4. Andrea Cerrato & Francesco Filippucci, 2022. "The Impact of Austerity Policies on Local Income: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," PSE Working Papers halshs-03665241, HAL.
    5. Chen, Zhuo & He, Zhiguo & Liu, Chun, 2020. "The financing of local government in China: Stimulus loan wanes and shadow banking waxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 42-71.
    6. Sergio Destefanis & Mario Di Serio & Matteo Fragetta, 2022. "Regional multipliers across the Italian regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 1179-1205, September.
    7. Bessho, Shun-ichiro, 2021. "Local fiscal multipliers and population aging in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    8. Valerie A. Ramey, 2019. "Ten Years after the Financial Crisis: What Have We Learned from the Renaissance in Fiscal Research?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 89-114, Spring.
    9. Ziqiao Chen & Giovanni Marin & David Popp & Francesco Vona, 2020. "Green Stimulus in a Post-pandemic Recovery: the Role of Skills for a Resilient Recovery," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 76(4), pages 901-911, August.
    10. Imai, Masami, 2022. "Local economic impacts of legislative malapportionment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    11. Bill Dupor & Marios Karabarbounis & Marianna Kudlyak & M Saif Mehkari, 2023. "Regional Consumption Responses and the Aggregate Fiscal Multiplier," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 90(6), pages 2982-3021.
    12. Tomomi Miyazaki & Haruo Kondoh, 2022. "Effects of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions on Regional Employment: Evidence from Japan," Discussion Papers 2206, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    13. Valerie A. Ramey, 2020. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Infrastructure Investment," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Analysis and Infrastructure Investment, pages 219-268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2018. "Identification in Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 59-86, Summer.
    15. Nguyen, Thuy Lan, 2020. "Comments on “Regional Data in Macroeconomics: Advice for Practitioners”," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    16. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2017. "Geographic Cross-Sectional Fiscal Multipliers: What Have We Learned?," Working Paper 458091, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    17. Peter McCrory & Bill Dupor, 2015. "Fiscal Policy Spillovers: Points of Employment to Places of Residence," 2015 Meeting Papers 47, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Bill Dupor, 2017. "So, Why Didn’t the 2009 Recovery Act Improve the Nation’s Highways and Bridges?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 99(2), pages 169-182.
    19. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/6n4g2a16an9rtamie2eh2rpkkm is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; Intensive and extensive labor margins; The 2009 Recovery Act;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory

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