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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
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1618
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  1. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Persson, Torsten, 1985. "Deficits and intergenerational welfare in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 67-84, August.
  4. 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.
  5. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2003. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Working Papers 11, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Campbell, John Y & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(3), pages 265-79, July.
  9. Jordi Galí & J. David López Salido & Javier Vallés, 2003. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Working Papers 0321, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  10. 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.
  11. Roberto Perotti, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers 015, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  12. Jordi Galí & J. David López Salido & Javier Vallés, 2003. "Rule-of-thumb consumers and the design of interest rate rules," Working Papers 0320, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  13. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1981. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," NBER Working Papers 0779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jeffery D. Amato & Thomas Laubach, 2002. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Boskin, Michael J, 1988. "Consumption, Saving, and Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 401-07, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Perotti, Roberto, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0168, European Central Bank.
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