IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bdi/wptemi/td_1174_18.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2018/2018-1174/en_tema_1174.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:nbr:nberch:13342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Christopher Erceg & Jesper Lindé, 2014. "Is There A Fiscal Free Lunch In A Liquidity Trap?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 73-107, February.
    3. Thorsten Drautzburg & Harald Uhlig, 2015. "Fiscal Stimulus and Distortionary Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 894-920, October.
    4. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
    5. Hafedh Bouakez & Nooman Rebei, 2007. "Why does private consumption rise after a government spending shock?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 954-979, August.
    6. Thorsten Drautzburg & Harald Uhlig, 2015. "Fiscal Stimulus and Distortionary Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 894-920, October.
    7. Albertini, Julien & Poirier, Arthur & Roulleau-Pasdeloup, Jordan, 2014. "The composition of government spending and the multiplier at the zero lower bound," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 31-35.
    8. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
    9. Michael T. Owyang & Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2013. "Are government spending multipliers greater during periods of slack? evidence from 20th century historical data," Working Papers 2013-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    10. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2010. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 281-295, March.
    11. Karras, Georgios, 1994. "Government Spending and Private Consumption: Some International Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 9-22, February.
    12. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
    13. Aschauer, David Alan, 1985. "Fiscal Policy and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 117-127, March.
    14. Evans, Paul & Karras, Georgios, 1998. "Liquidity Constraints and the Substitutability between Private and Government Consumption: The Role of Military and Non-military Spending," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(2), pages 203-214, April.
    15. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2013. "Output Spillovers from Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 141-146, May.
    16. Traum, Nora & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2011. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in the post-war U.S," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 140-164, January.
    17. repec:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/696277 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2018. "Government Spending Multipliers in Good Times and in Bad: Evidence from US Historical Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(2), pages 850-901.
    19. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
    20. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 383-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Ahmed, Shaghil, 1986. "Temporary and permanent government spending in an open economy: Some evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 197-224, March.
    22. Michael T. Owyang & Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2013. "Are Government Spending Multipliers Greater during Periods of Slack? Evidence from Twentieth-Century Historical Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 129-134, May.
    23. Markus Brückner & Anita Tuladhar, 2014. "Local Government Spending Multipliers and Financial Distress: Evidence from Japanese Prefectures," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(581), pages 1279-1316, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    non-separable government consumption; substitutability; zero lower bound; fiscal multipliers;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1174_18. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bdigvit.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.