IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eecrev/v88y2016icp142-157.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Debt-dependent effects of fiscal expansions

Author

Listed:
  • Bi, Huixin
  • Shen, Wenyi
  • Yang, Shu-Chun S.

Abstract

Economists often postulate that fiscal expansions are less stimulative when government debt is high than when it is low. Empirical evidence, however, is ambiguous. Using a nonlinear neoclassical growth model, we show that the difference in government spending effects between high- and low-debt environments depends on the wealth effect on labor supply and on whether the government uses taxes or spending to retire debt. Because of interrelated state variables, structural VAR estimations conditioning on debt alone can fail to isolate debt-dependent effects. Also, uncertainty on when the government will conduct fiscal consolidations generates wide confidence bands for spending multipliers, further complicating efforts to estimate debt-dependent government spending effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Bi, Huixin & Shen, Wenyi & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2016. "Debt-dependent effects of fiscal expansions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 142-157.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:142-157
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.04.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292116300666
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:nbr:nberch:13342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:cbo:report:50250 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Stephanie Schmitt‐Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2733-2764, November.
    4. Christopher Erceg & Jesper Lindé, 2014. "Is There A Fiscal Free Lunch In A Liquidity Trap?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 73-107, February.
    5. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper & Campbell Leith, 2013. "Uncertain Fiscal Consolidations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 31-63, February.
    6. Leeper, Eric M. & Plante, Michael & Traum, Nora, 2010. "Dynamics of fiscal financing in the United States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 304-321, June.
    7. Forni, Lorenzo & Monteforte, Libero & Sessa, Luca, 2009. "The general equilibrium effects of fiscal policy: Estimates for the Euro area," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 559-585, April.
    8. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Can News about the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1097-1118, September.
    9. Monacelli, Tommaso & Perotti, Roberto, 2008. "Fiscal Policy, Wealth Effects and Markups," CEPR Discussion Papers 7099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Hafedh Bouakez & Nooman Rebei, 2007. "Why does private consumption rise after a government spending shock?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 954-979, August.
    11. Matthew D. Shapiro & Christopher L. House, 2006. "Phased-In Tax Cuts and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1835-1849, December.
    12. Davig, Troy, 2004. "Regime-switching debt and taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 837-859, May.
    13. Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti, 2008. "Openness and the Sectoral Effects of Fiscal Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 395-403, 04-05.
    14. Born, Benjamin & Müller, Gernot J. & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2014. "Does austerity pay off?," SAFE Working Paper Series 77, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    15. Francois Gourio, 2012. "Disaster Risk and Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2734-2766, October.
    16. Erica L. Groshen & Simon M. Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
    17. Olivier J. Blanchard & Daniel Leigh, 2013. "Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 117-120, May.
    18. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
    19. Michael T. Owyang & Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2013. "Are government spending multipliers greater during periods of slack? evidence from 20th century historical data," Working Papers 2013-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    20. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
    21. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
    22. Giancarlo Corsetti & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2012. "What determines government spending multipliers?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 27(72), pages 521-565, October.
    23. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy in Good Times and Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436.
    24. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
    25. Giancarlo Corsetti & Keith Kuester & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2010. "Debt Consolidation and Fiscal Stabilization of Deep Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 41-45, May.
    26. Michael Dotsey & Ching Sheng Mo, 1997. "The effects of fiscal policy in a neoclassical growth model," Working Paper 97-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    27. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 703-718, September.
    28. Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    29. Andrew Foerster & Troy Davig, 2014. "Uncertainty and Fiscal Cliffs," 2014 Meeting Papers 717, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    30. Afonso, António & Jalles, João Tovar, 2014. "Assessing fiscal episodes," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 255-270.
    31. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    32. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2017. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2409-2454, August.
    33. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
    34. Dotsey, Michael, 1994. "Some unpleasant supply side arithmetic," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 507-524, June.
    35. 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.
    36. Nora Traum & Shu‐Chun S. Yang, 2015. "When Does Government Debt Crowd Out Investment?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 24-45, January.
    37. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2015. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass: Prior and Posterior Analysis," NBER Working Papers 21433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 8984, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    39. Markus Kirchner & Jacopo Cimadomo & Sebastian Hauptmeier, 2010. "Transmission of Government Spending Shocks in the Euro Area: Time Variation and Driving Forces," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-021/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    40. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
    41. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
    42. Andrea Pescatori & Daniel Leigh & Jaime Guajardo & Pete Devries, 2011. "A New Action-Based Dataset of Fiscal Consolidation," IMF Working Papers 11/128, International Monetary Fund.
    43. Ilzetzki, Ethan & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Végh, Carlos A., 2013. "How big (small?) are fiscal multipliers?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 239-254.
    44. Michael T. Owyang & Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2013. "Are Government Spending Multipliers Greater during Periods of Slack? Evidence from Twentieth-Century Historical Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 129-134, May.
    45. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-685, September.
    46. Susan Yang, Shu-Chun, 2005. "Quantifying tax effects under policy foresight," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1557-1568, November.
    47. Congressional Budget Office, 2015. "The 2015 Long-Term Budget Outlook," Reports 50250, Congressional Budget Office.
    48. Coleman, Wilbur John, II, 1990. "Solving the Stochastic Growth Model by Policy-Function Iteration," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 27-29, January.
    49. Harald Uhlig, 2010. "Some Fiscal Calculus," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 30-34, May.
    50. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kollmann, Robert & Leeper, Eric & Roeger, Werner, 2016. "The Post-Crisis Slump," MPRA Paper 71291, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt-dependent government spending effect; State-dependent fiscal policy effects; Fiscal multipliers; Fiscal uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:142-157. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.