IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Changing patterns of fiscal policy multipliers in Germany, the UK and the US

  • Cimadomo, Jacopo
  • Bénassy-Quéré, Agnès

This paper documents time variation in fiscal policy multipliers in Germany, the UK and the US over the period 1971–2009. The analysis is based on a quarterly vector autoregression (VAR) model. For the German and the UK cases, the VAR is augmented by “global factors” representing developments in the world economy. By estimating these models on different samples of data, our evidence indicates that fiscal multipliers have substantially changed over time, often in a non-monotonic way. In particular, for Germany, the net tax multiplier is found to follow a humped-shaped curve, peaking in the middle of the 1990s, declining thereafter, before rising again during the recent 2008–2009 crisis. Government spending shocks are found to be more powerful to stimulate output after the reunification. We show that significant crowding-in effects for private investments contribute to explain this finding. For the UK, we observe large variations in fiscal multipliers over the period, with non-Keynesian developments during the fiscal consolidation period of the 1980s. After that, British multipliers are low and only pick up at the very end of the sample, when the 2008–2009 crisis is included in the analysis. For the US, short-run multipliers appear to be broadly stable over the period, but medium-run multipliers tend to decline, in particular in the end of the 1980s and in the 1990s. This can be due to the large fiscal imbalances over this period that may have triggered Ricardian effects, before a fiscal surplus was achieved at the end of the 1990s.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 845-873

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:845-873
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2012.02.006
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca, 2010. "Fiscal Foresight and the Effects of Goverment Spending," CEPR Discussion Papers 7840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2005. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 830-840, September.
  4. Christophe Croux & Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2001. "A Measure Of Comovement For Economic Variables: Theory And Empirics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 232-241, May.
  5. Jushan Bai & Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock, 1998. "Testing For and Dating Common Breaks in Multivariate Time Series," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 395-432.
  6. Donald W.K. Andrews & Inpyo Lee & Werner Ploberger, 1992. "Optimal Changepoint Tests for Normal Linear Regression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1016, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
  8. António Afonso & Ricardo Sousa, 2011. "The macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in Portugal: a Bayesian SVAR analysis," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 10(1), pages 61-82, April.
  9. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Florin Bilbiie & Gernot Mueller & Andre Meier, 2008. "What Accounts for the Change in U.S. Fiscal Policy Transmission?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00622867, HAL.
  11. Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2002. "Some Stylized Facts on Non-Systematic Fiscal Policy in the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 3635, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles : a Bayesian DSGE Approach," Working Paper Research 109, National Bank of Belgium.
  13. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori & Franc Klaassen, 2005. "Trade Spillovers of Fiscal Policy in the European Union: A Panel Analysis," DNB Working Papers 052, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  14. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  15. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  16. Tagkalakis, Athanasios, 2008. "The effects of fiscal policy on consumption in recessions and expansions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1486-1508, June.
  17. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2003. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," NBER Working Papers 9459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Shaghil Ahmed & Andrew Levin & Beth Anne Wilson, 2004. "Recent U.S. Macroeconomic Stability: Good Policies, Good Practices, or Good Luck?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 824-832, August.
  19. Selma Mahfouz & Richard Hemming & Michael Kell, 2002. "The Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy in Stimulating Economic Activity; A Review of the Literature," IMF Working Papers 02/208, International Monetary Fund.
  20. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. Giannone, Domenico & Lenza, Michele, 2008. "The Feldstein-Horioka fact," Working Paper Series 0873, European Central Bank.
  23. Lucrezia Reichlin, 2003. "Factor models in large cross sections of time series," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10179, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  24. Wolff, Guntram B. & Tenhofen, Jörn & Heppke-Falk, Kirsten H., 2006. "The macroeconomic effects of exogenous fiscal policy shocks in Germany: a disaggregated SVAR analysis," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,41, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  25. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," NBER Working Papers 14028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Roberto Perotti, 2004. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Papers 276, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  27. Altissimo, Filippo & Bassanetti, Antonio & Cristadoro, Riccardo & Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Veronese, Giovanni, 2001. "EuroCOIN: A Real Time Coincident Indicator of the Euro Area Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 3108, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Matthew Shapiro & Mark Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycles Fluctuations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 111-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Stefano Neri, 2001. "Assessing the effects of monetary and fiscal policy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 425, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  30. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  31. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  32. Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2007. "Debt and the Effects of Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  33. David H. Howard, 1981. "Inflation, indexation, and the oil-price shock: the British experience," International Finance Discussion Papers 185, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  34. de Castro, Francisco & Hernández de Cos, Pablo, 2008. "The economic effects of fiscal policy: The case of Spain," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1005-1028, September.
  35. Canova, Fabio, 2006. "Monetary Policy and the Evolution of the US Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  36. Claude Giorno & Pete Richardson & Deborah Roseveare & Paul van den Noord, 1995. "Estimating Potential Output, Output Gaps and Structural Budget Balances," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 152, OECD Publishing.
  37. Maria Gabriella Briotti, 2005. "Economic reactions to public finance consolidation - a survey of the literature," Occasional Paper Series 38, European Central Bank.
  38. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2001. "A Panic Attack on Unit Roots and Cointegration," Economics Working Paper Archive 469, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  39. Pablo Burriel & Francisco de Castro & Daniel Garrote & Esther Gordo & Joan Paredes & Javier J. Pérez, 2009. "Fiscal policy shocks in the euro area and the US: an empirical assessment," Working Papers 0930, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  40. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  41. Kirchner, Markus & Cimadomo, Jacopo & Hauptmeier, Sebastian, 2010. "Transmission of government spending shocks in the euro area: Time variation and driving forces," Working Paper Series 1219, European Central Bank.
  42. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1996. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries; Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Working Papers 96/70, International Monetary Fund.
  43. John B. Taylor, 2010. "Getting back on track: macroeconomic policy lessons from the financial crisis," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 165-176.
  44. Giordano, Raffaela & Momigliano, Sandro & Neri, Stefano & Perotti, Roberto, 2007. "The effects of fiscal policy in Italy: Evidence from a VAR model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 707-733, September.
  45. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422.
  46. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2008. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 14551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. L Tkepohl, Helmut & Wolters, J Rgen, 2003. "Transmission Of German Monetary Policy In The Pre-Euro Period," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(05), pages 711-733, November.
  48. Coenen, Günter & Straub, Roland, 2005. "Does government spending crowd in private consumption? Theory and empirical evidence for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0513, European Central Bank.
  49. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  50. Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  51. Benetrix, Agustin & Lane, Philip R., 2009. "The Impact of Fiscal Shocks on the Irish Economy," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(4), pages 407-434.
  52. Yang, Shu-Chun Susan, 2007. "Tentative evidence of tax foresight," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 30-37, July.
  53. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:845-873. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.