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How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?

  • Ethan Ilzetzki
  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Carlos A. Végh

We contribute to the intense debate on the real effects of fiscal stimuli by showing that the impact of government expenditure shocks depends crucially on key country characteristics, such as the level of development, exchange rate regime, openness to trade, and public indebtedness. Based on a novel quarterly dataset of government expenditure in 44 countries, we find that (i) the output effect of an increase in government consumption is larger in industrial than in developing countries, (ii) the fiscal multiplier is relatively large in economies operating under predetermined exchange rate but zero in economies operating under flexible exchange rates; (iii) fiscal multipliers in open economies are lower than in closed economies and (iv) fiscal multipliers in high-debt countries are also zero.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1016.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1016
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Morten O. Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2007. "Explaining the Effects of Government Spending Shocks on Consumption and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 13328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Troy Davig & Eric Leeper, 2009. "Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interactions And Fiscal Stimulus," Caepr Working Papers 2009-010, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  5. Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's All in the Timing," NBER Working Papers 15464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Vegh, 2004. "When it Rains, it Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Working Papers 10780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 1980. "Output Effects of Government Purchases," NBER Working Papers 0432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Meier, André & Müller, Gernot, 2012. "What Determines Government Spending Multipliers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9010, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Monacelli, Tommaso & Perotti, Roberto, 2008. "Fiscal Policy, Wealth Effects and Markups," CEPR Discussion Papers 7099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ramey, Valerie A. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1998. "Costly capital reallocation and the effects of government spending," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 145-194, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori & Franc Klaassen, 2008. "The Effects of Public Spending Shocks on Trade Balances and Budget Deficits in the European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 414-423, 04-05.
  15. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
  16. Aart Kraay, 2012. "How large is the Government Spending Multiplier? Evidence from World Bank Lending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 829-887.
  17. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kim, Soyoung & Roubini, Nouriel, 2008. "Twin deficit or twin divergence? Fiscal policy, current account, and real exchange rate in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 362-383, March.
  20. Jesper Linde & Christopher J. Erceg, 2010. "Is There a Fiscal Free Lunch in a Liquidity Trap?," 2010 Meeting Papers 380, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  21. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2011. "Fiscal Stimulus in a Monetary Union: Evidence from U.S. Regions," NBER Working Papers 17391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Ilzetzki, Ethan, 2011. "Fiscal policy and debt dynamics in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5666, The World Bank.
  23. Roberto Perotti, 2008. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2007, Volume 22, pages 169-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Daniel J. Wilson, 2012. "Fiscal Spending Jobs Multipliers: Evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 251-82, August.
  25. Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-85, September.
  27. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carlos A. Vegh, 2008. "Procyclical Fiscal Policy in Developing Countries: Truth or Fiction?," NBER Working Papers 14191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Roberto Perotti, 2004. "Public investment: another (different) look," Working Papers 277, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  29. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  30. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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