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Unconventional Fiscal Policy, Inflation Expectations, and Consumption Expenditure

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  • Francesco D'Acunto
  • Daniel Hoang
  • Michael Weber
  • Michael Weber

Abstract

Unconventional fiscal policies incentivize households to accelerate consumption by generating future consumer price ination, and offer an alternative to unconventional monetary policy (Correia et al. (2013)). We use a natural experiment to study the causal effect of unconventional fiscal policies on consumption expenditure via the inflation-expectations channel. The German administration unexpectedly announced in November 2005 a three-percentage-point increase in value-added tax (VAT) effective in 2007. This shock increased German households’ inflation expectations during 2006, as well as actual inflation in 2007. Matched households in other European countries serve as counterfactuals in a difference-in-differences identification design. German households’ willingness to purchase durable goods increased by 34% after the shock, compared to matched foreign households. Income or wealth effects do not appear to drive these results, and we do not find evidence of intratemporal substitution from non-durable to durable consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2016. "Unconventional Fiscal Policy, Inflation Expectations, and Consumption Expenditure," CESifo Working Paper Series 5793, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5793
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    Cited by:

    1. Coibion, Olivier & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & van Rooij, Maarten, 2019. "How Does Consumption Respond to News about Inflation? Field Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3zh865pj, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Christian Bauer & Sebastian Weber, 2016. "The Efficiency of Monetary Policy when Guiding Inflation Expectations," Research Papers in Economics 2016-14, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    3. Lena Dräger & Giang Nghiem, 2021. "Are Consumers' Spending Decisions in Line with A Euler Equation?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 580-596, July.
    4. Lena Dräger, 2016. "Are Consumers Planning Consumption According to an Euler Equation?," Working Papers 1621, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    5. Dimitris Christelis & Dimitris Georgarakos & Tullio Jappelli & Maarten van Rooij, 2020. "Trust in the Central Bank and Inflation Expectations," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(6), pages 1-37, December.
    6. Alberto Cavallo & Guillermo Cruces & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2017. "Inflation Expectations, Learning, and Supermarket Prices: Evidence from Survey Experiments," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 1-35, July.
    7. Yantao Gao & Xilong Yao & Wenxi Wang & Xin Liu, 2019. "Dynamic effect of environmental tax on export trade: Based on DSGE mode," Energy & Environment, , vol. 30(7), pages 1275-1290, November.
    8. Julio Garín & Robert Lester & Eric Sims, 2019. "Are Supply Shocks Contractionary at the ZLB? Evidence from Utilization-Adjusted TFP Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 160-175, March.
    9. Lieb, Lenard & Schuffels, Johannes, 2020. "Inflation expectations and consumer spending: the role of household balance sheets (RM/19/022-revised-)," Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    10. Fujiwara, Ippei & Waki, Yuichiro, 2020. "Fiscal forward guidance: A case for selective transparency," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 236-248.
    11. Dräger, Lena & Lamla, Michael J. & Pfajfar, Damjan, 2020. "The Hidden Heterogeneity of Inflation and Interest Rate Expectations: The Role of Preferences," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-666, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, revised Feb 2023.
    12. Dimitris Christelis & Dimitris Georgarakos & Tullio Jappelli & Maarten van Rooij, 2020. "Trust in the Central Bank and Inflation Expectations," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(6), pages 1-37, December.
    13. Lena Dräger & Michael J. Lamla & Damjan Pfajfar, 2020. "The Hidden Heterogeneity of Inflation Expectations and its Implications," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-054, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. Olivier Coibion & Dimitris Georgarakos & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Maarten van Rooij, 2023. "How Does Consumption Respond to News about Inflation? Field Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 109-152, July.
    15. Lena Dräger & Michael J. Lamla, 2024. "Consumers' macroeconomic expectations," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 427-451, April.
    16. Lenard Lieb & Johannes Schuffels, 2022. "Inflation expectations and consumer spending: the role of household balance sheets," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 63(5), pages 2479-2512, November.
    17. Buchheim, Lukas & Link, Sebastian, 2017. "The Effect of Disaggregate Information on the Expectation Formation of Firms," Discussion Papers in Economics 41214, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    durable consumption; zero lower bound; fiscal and monetary policy; survey data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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