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What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?

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Listed:
  • Andrew Mountford

    (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)

  • Harald Uhlig

    (University of Chicago, IL, USA, and CEPR, London, UK)

Abstract

We propose and apply a new approach for analyzing the effects of fiscal policy using vector autoregressions. Specifically, we use sign restrictions to identify a government revenue shock as well as a government spending shock, while controlling for a generic business cycle shock and a monetary policy shock. We explicitly allow for the possibility of announcement effects, i.e., that a current fiscal policy shock changes fiscal policy variables in the future, but not at present. We construct the impulse responses to three linear combinations of these fiscal shocks, corresponding to the three scenarios of deficit-spending, deficit-financed tax cuts and a balanced budget spending expansion. We apply the method to US quarterly data from 1955 to 2000. We find that deficit-financed tax cuts work best among these three scenarios to improve GDP, with a maximal present value multiplier of five dollars of total additional GDP per each dollar of the total cut in government revenue 5 years after the shock. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:24:y:2009:i:6:p:960-992
    DOI: 10.1002/jae.1079
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    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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