IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

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.

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: no

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

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ief:reveye:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:41-73
Contact details of provider: Postal: Av. Valparaíso s/n - Ciudad Universitaria - (5000) - Córdoba
Phone: 54 0351 4437300 int 253
Fax: 54 351 433 4436
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Julia Lynn Coronado & Joseph P. Lupton & Louise 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.).
  2. Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?," JCPR Working Papers 18, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  3. Nicholas S. Souleles & Jonathan A. Parker & David S. Johnson, 2006. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1589-1610, December.
  4. Christopher House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2006. "Temporary Investment Tax Incentives: Theory with Evidence from Bonus Depreciation," NBER Working Papers 12514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Darrel Cohen & Jason G. 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.).
  6. Aizenman, Joshua & Pasricha, Gurnain Kaur, 2010. "On the ease of overstating the fiscal stimulus in the US, 2008-9," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5rf688t2, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  7. Glenn Follette & Andrea L. Kusko & Byron F. 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.).
  8. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 1999. "The automatic fiscal stabilizers: quietly doing their thing," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-64, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2010. "Household Response to the 2008 Tax Rebate: Survey Evidence and Aggregate Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24, pages 69-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
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:ief:reveye:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:41-73. 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: (Marcelo Coser)

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.