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Government spending shocks, wealth effects and distortionary taxes

  • James Cloyne


    (Bank of England
    Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))

The size and sign of the government spending multiplier crucially depends on how the spending is financed and how consumers respond to implied future tax increases. I investigate this issue in an estimated New Keynesian DSGE model with distortionary labor and capital taxes and, importantly, with preferences that allow the wealth effect on labor supply to vary. Specifically I assess whether the model can explain the empirical evidence for the United States and examine the transmission mechanism, for realistic policy rules. I show that the model can match the positive empirical response of key variables including output, consumption and the real wage. I find that the role of the wealth effect on labor supply is small and that while tax rates rise following a spending shock these increases are modest, with debt rising. Deficit financed spending increases are therefore expansionary, but this is due to sticky prices rather than the wealth effect channel.

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Paper provided by Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) in its series Discussion Papers with number 1413.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfm:wpaper:1413
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