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Savers, Spenders and Fiscal Policy in a Small Open Economy

  • Egil Matsen
  • Tommy Sveen
  • Ragnar Torvik

This paper analyzes the effects of fiscal policy in an open economy. We extend the savers-spenders theory of Mankiw (2000) to a small open economy with endogenous labor supply. We first show how the Dornbusch (1983) consumption-based real interest rate for open economies is modified when labor supply is endogenous. We then turn to the effects of fiscal policy when there are both savers and spenders. With this heterogeneity taken into account, tax cuts have a short-run contractionary effect on domestic production, and increased public spending has a short-run expansionary effect. Although consistent with recent empirical work, this result contrasts with those of most other theoretical models. Transitory changes in demand have permanent real effects in our model, and we discuss the implications for real exchange-rate dynamics. We also show how “rational” savers may magnify or dampen the responses of “irrational” spenders, and show how this is related to features of the utility functions.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1618.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1618
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  1. J. Galí & D. López-Salido & J. Vallés, 2003. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. 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.
  3. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 791-831, October.
  4. Poterba, James M, 1988. "Are Consumers Forward Looking? Evidence from Fiscal Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 413-18, May.
  5. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1983. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 141-53, February.
  7. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  8. Jordi Gal� & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 707-734.
  9. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Roberto Perotti, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers 015, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  11. Roberto Perotti, 2004. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Papers 276, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
  13. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Torsten Persson, 1983. "Deficits and Intergenerational Welfare in Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 1083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Boskin, Michael J, 1988. "Consumption, Saving, and Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 401-07, May.
  16. Perotti, Roberto, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0168, European Central Bank.
  17. Jordi Gali & J. David Lopez-Salido & Javier Valles, 2004. "Rule-of-Thumb Consumers and the Design of Interest Rate Rules," NBER Working Papers 10392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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