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Fiscal Policy in the United States: Automatic Stabilizers, Discretionary Fiscal Policy Actions, and the Economy

  • Glenn Follette

    ()

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

  • Byron Lutz

    ()

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

We examine the effects of the economy on the government budget as well as the effects of the budget on the economy. First, we provide measures of the effects of automatic stabilizers on budget outcomes at the federal and state and local levels. For the federal government, the deficit increases about 0.35 percent of GDP for each 1 percentage point deviation of actual GDP relative to potential GDP. For state and local governments, the deficit increases by about 0.1 percent of GDP. We then examine the response of the economy to the automatic stabilizers using the FRB/US model by comparing the response to aggregate demand shocks under two scenarios: with the automatic stabilizers in place and without the automatic stabilizers. Second, we provide measures of discretionary fiscal policy actions at the federal and state and local levels. We find that federal policy actions are somewhat counter-cyclical while state and local policy actions have been somewhat pro-cyclical. Finally, we evaluate the impact of the budget, from both automatic stabilizers and discretionary actions, on economic activity in 2008 and 2009.

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File URL: http://ief.eco.unc.edu.ar/files/publicaciones/economiayestadistica/2010_48_n1/04_2010n1_41a74_fiscalpolicy_follette_lutz.pdf
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Article provided by Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas in its journal Revista de Economía y Estadística.

Volume (Year): XLVIII (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 41–73

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Handle: RePEc:ief:reveye:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:41-73
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  1. Rebecca M. Blank, 2001. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 85-118.
  2. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 2000. "The automatic fiscal stabilizers: quietly doing their thing," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 35-67.
  3. Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2009. "Household response to the 2008 tax rebates: survey evidence and aggregate implications," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. David S. Johnson & Jonathan A. Parker & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2004. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," NBER Working Papers 10784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Aizenman, Joshua & Pasricha, Gurnain K., 2010. "On the ease of overstating the fiscal stimulus in the US, 2008-9 ," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3vr12659, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  6. Glenn Follette & Andrea Kusko & Byron Lutz, 2009. "State and local finances and the macroeconomy: the high-employment budget and fiscal impetus," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
  8. Christopher L. House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Temporary Investment Tax Incentives: Theory with Evidence from Bonus Depreciation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 737-68, June.
  9. Julia Lynn Coronado & Joseph P. Lupton & Louise M. Sheiner, 2005. "The household spending response to the 2003 tax cut: evidence from survey data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Darrel Cohen & Jason Cummins, 2006. "A retrospective evaluation of the effects of temporary partial expensing," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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