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How can the government spending multiplier be small at the zero lower bound?

Author

Listed:
  • Valerio Ercolani

    (Bank of Italy)

  • João Valle e Azevedo

    (Bank of Portugal & Nova School of Business and Economics)

Abstract

Some recent empirical evidence questions the typically large size of government spending multipliers when the nominal interest rate is stuck at zero, finding output multipliers of around 1 or even lower, with an upper bound of around 1.5 in some circumstances. In this paper, we use a recent estimate of the degree of substitutability between private and government consumption in an otherwise standard New Keynesian model to show that this channel significantly reduces the size of government spending multipliers obtained when the nominal interest rate is at zero. All else being equal, the relationship of substitutability makes a government spending shock crowd out private consumption while being less inflationary, thus limiting the typically expansionary effect of the fall in the real interest rate. Subject to the nominal interest rate being constrained at zero, the model generates output multipliers ranging from 0.8 to 1.6.

Suggested Citation

  • Valerio Ercolani & João Valle e Azevedo, 2018. "How can the government spending multiplier be small at the zero lower bound?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1174, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1174_18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Deleidi, Matteo & Iafrate, Francesca & Levrero, Enrico Sergio, 2020. "Public investment fiscal multipliers: An empirical assessment for European countries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 354-365.
    2. Shvets, Serhii, 2020. "The golden rule of public finance under active monetary stance: endogenous setting for a developing economy," MPRA Paper 101232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Concetta Rondinelli & Roberta Zizza, 2020. "Spend today or spend tomorrow? The role of inflation expectations in consumer behaviour," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1276, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Troug, Haytem, 2019. "Monetary Policy with Non-Separable Government Spending," MPRA Paper 92323, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    non-separable government consumption; substitutability; zero lower bound; fiscal multipliers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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