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

Nonseparable Preferences, Frisch Labor Supply, and the Consumption Multiplier of Government Spending: One Solution to a Fiscal Policy Puzzle


This paper proposes a theoretical explanation of the positive consumption multipliers of government spending often found in the data. The explanation requires two ingredients. First, labor demand expands (e.g., prices are sticky). Second, general nonseparable preferences over consumption and leisure should be such that the two goods are substitutes; that is, Frisch labor supply elasticity is lower than the constant-consumption elasticity; this implies that constant-consumption labor supply shifts left. Existing empirical evidence on the relative magnitudes of the two elasticities supports this hypothesis. The parametric conditions under which the result occurs are consistent with restrictions of concavity and noninferiority of consumption and leisure.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 221-251

in new window

Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:43:y:2011:i:1:p:221-251
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. 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.
  2. Ravn, Morten O & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2007. "Explaining the Effects of Government Spending Shocks on Consumption and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 6541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Mankiw, N Gregory & Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 225-51, February.
  4. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C. & Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2004. "Estimating the Euler equation for output," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1133-1153, September.
  5. Florin O. Bilbiie & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2008. "What Accounts for the Changes in U.S. Fiscal Policy Transmission?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1439-1470, October.
  6. Bilbiie, Florin Ovidiu & Ghironi, Fabio & Melitz, Marc J, 2011. "Endogenous Entry, Product Variety, and Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 8564, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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 402-17, June.
  8. repec:acb:camaaa:2008-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Galí, Jordi & López-Salido, J David & Vallés Liberal, Javier, 2005. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," CEPR Discussion Papers 5212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2009. "Labor supply heterogeneity and macroeconomic comovement," Staff Reports 399, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-34, June.
  12. 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, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  13. Devereux, Michael B & Head, Allen C & Lapham, Beverly J, 1996. "Monopolistic Competition, Increasing Returns, and the Effects of Government Spending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 233-54, May.
  14. Motohiro Yogo, 2004. "Estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution When Instruments Are Weak," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 797-810, August.
  15. Linnemann, Ludger, 2006. "The Effect of Government Spending on Private Consumption: A Puzzle?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1715-1735, October.
  16. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  17. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "Reconciling Cyclical Movements in the Marginal Value of Time and the Marginal Product of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 281-323, 04.
  18. Hintermaier, Thomas, 2003. "On the minimum degree of returns to scale in sunspot models of the business cycle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 400-409, June.
  19. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  20. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2008. "Expectations, Learning And Business Cycle Fluctuations," CAMA Working Papers 2008-20, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  21. Florin O. Bilbiie & Roland Straub, 2004. "Fiscal Policy, Business Cycles and Labor-Market Fluctuations," MNB Working Papers 2004/6, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
  22. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2005. "Consumption versus Expenditure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 919-948, October.
  23. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  24. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise if the Government Buys More Output?," NBER Working Papers 15496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, October.
  26. Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. 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.
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:mcb:jmoncb:v:43:y:2011:i:1:p:221-251. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.