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Fiscal policy and learning

Author

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  • Mitra, Kaushik
  • Evans, George W.
  • Honkapohja, Seppo

Abstract

Using the standard real business cycle model with lump-sum taxes, we analyze the impact of fiscal policy when agents form expectations using adaptive learning rather than rational expectations (RE). The output multipliers for government purchases are significantly higher under learning, and fall within empirical bounds reported in the literature (in sharp contrast to the implausibly low values under RE). Effectiveness of fiscal policy is demonstrated during times of economic stress like the recent Great Recession. Finally it is shown how learning can lead to dynamics empirically documented during episodes of "fiscal consolidations." JEL classification: E62, D84, E21, E43 Key words: Government Purchases, Expectations, Output Multiplier, Fiscal Consolidation, Taxation

Suggested Citation

  • Mitra, Kaushik & Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2012. "Fiscal policy and learning," Research Discussion Papers 5/2012, Bank of Finland.
  • Handle: RePEc:bof:bofrdp:2012_005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hollmayr, Josef & Matthes, Christian, 2015. "Learning about fiscal policy and the effects of policy uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 142-162.
    2. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
    3. Cole, Stephen J., 2016. "The Limits of Central Bank Forward Guidance under Learning," Working Papers and Research 2016-02, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
    4. Mitra, Kaushik & Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2013. "Policy change and learning in the RBC model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1947-1971.
    5. Cole, Stephen, 2015. "Learning and the effectiveness of central bank forward guidance," MPRA Paper 65207, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects

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