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Changing Patterns of Domestic and Cross-Border Fiscal Policy Multipliers in Europe and the US


  • Agnès Bénassy-Quéré
  • Jacopo Cimadomo


This paper documents time variation in domestic fiscal policy multipliers in Germany, the UK and the US, and in cross-border fiscal spillovers from Germany to the seven largest European Union economies. We propose two VAR models which incorporate three “global factors” representing developments in the world economy, and we combine them with identification of fiscal shocks à la Blanchard and Perotti (2002) and Perotti (2005), to study the effects of net tax and government spending shocks on GDP, inflation and interest rates. By recursively estimating these models on different samples of data, we find that the domestic impact of tax shocks has been positive but vanishing for Germany and the US, stably not significant for the UK. Financial markets deregulations may play an important role in that since they allow households to be less dependent on disposable income and to smooth more easily consumption. Domestic government spending multipliers are found to be positive but feeble in the short-run and close to zero or slightly negative in the medium-run, implying that private consumption and investments might be crowded out. These results suggest that, in the European Monetary Union, discretionary fiscal policy “surprises” (i.e. unexpected tax cuts and government spending expansions) cannot be used by governments as substitutes for lost national monetary instruments, since they have shown to be progressively ineffective over time. Finally, we find that fiscal expansions in Germany have had beneficial (though declining) effects for neighboring countries, especially the smaller ones. This may indicate that the trade channel of transmission of fiscal policy dominates the interest rate one.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Jacopo Cimadomo, 2006. "Changing Patterns of Domestic and Cross-Border Fiscal Policy Multipliers in Europe and the US," Working Papers 2006-24, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2006-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Warmedinger & Cristina Checherita-Westphal & Pablo Hernández de Cos, 2015. "Fiscal Multipliers and Beyond," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 215(4), pages 139-168, December.
    2. António Afonso & Hans Peter Grüner & Christina Kolerus, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Growth: Do Financial Crises make a Difference?," Working Papers Department of Economics 2010/10, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2013. "Output Spillovers from Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 141-146, May.
    4. Bicu A.C. & Lieb L.M., 2015. "Cross-border effects of fiscal policy in the Eurozone," Research Memorandum 019, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    5. Nicolas Carnot & Francisco de Castro, 2015. "The Discretionary Fiscal Effort: An Assessment of Fiscal Policy and Its Output Effect," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 215(4), pages 63-94, December.
    6. James Feyrer & Jay Shambaugh, 2012. "Global Savings and Global Investment: The Transmission of Identified Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 95-114, May.
    7. Jocelyn Boussard & Francisco de Castro & Matteo Salto, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and Public Debt Dynamics in Consolidations," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 460, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    8. repec:ecb:ecbops:2011162 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Francisco Castro & Daniel Garrote, 2015. "The effects of fiscal shocks on the exchange rate in the EMU and differences with the USA," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 1341-1365, December.
    10. Sebastian Gechert, 2015. "What fiscal policy is most effective? A meta-regression analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 553-580.
    11. Markus Kirchner & Jacopo Cimadomo & Sebastian Hauptmeier, 2010. "Transmission of Government Spending Shocks in the Euro Area: Time Variation and Driving Forces," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-021/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Gagnon, Marie-Hélène & Gimet, Céline, 2013. "The impacts of standard monetary and budgetary policies on liquidity and financial markets: International evidence from the credit freeze crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4599-4614.
    13. Pablo Burriel & Francisco de Castro Fernández & Daniel Garrote & Esther Gordo & Joan Paredes & Javier J. Pérez García, 2010. "Fiscal Multipliers in the Euro Area," Revista de Economía y Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas, vol. 0(2), pages 7-27, July.
    14. Pablo Burriel & Francisco de Castro & Daniel Garrote & Esther Gordo & Joan Paredes & Javier J. Pérez, 2010. "Fiscal Policy Shocks in the Euro Area and the US: An Empirical Assessment," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(2), pages 251-285, June.
    15. J. Stephen Ferris, 2010. "Fiscal Policy from a Public Choice Perspective," Carleton Economic Papers 10-10, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    16. Dufrénot G. & Paul L., 2010. "Fiscal developments in the euro area beyond the crisis: some lessons drawn from fiscal reaction functions," Working papers 292, Banque de France.
    17. Francisco de Castro & Laura Fernández, 2013. "The Effects Of Fiscal Shocks On The Exchange Rate In Spain," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(2), pages 151-180.
    18. Sebastian Weber & Anna Ivanova, 2011. "Do Fiscal Spillovers Matter?," IMF Working Papers 11/211, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Vetlov, Igor & Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Lalik, Magdalena, 2017. "Fiscal spillovers in the euro area a model-based analysis," Working Paper Series 2040, European Central Bank.
    20. Helene Poirson Ward & Sebastian Weber, 2011. "Growth Spillover Dynamics From Crisis to Recovery," IMF Working Papers 11/218, International Monetary Fund.
    21. Sebastian Gechert & Henner Will, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers: A Meta Regression Analysis," IMK Working Paper 97-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    22. Laganà, Gianluca & Sgro, Pasquale Michael, 2011. "A factor-augmented VAR approach: The effect of a rise in the US personal income tax rate on the US and Canada," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1163-1169, May.
    23. Sebastian Gechert & Ansgar Rannenberg, 2014. "Are Fiscal Multipliers Regime-Dependent? A Meta Regression Analysis," IMK Working Paper 139-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    24. Paredes, Joan & Pedregal, Diego J. & Pérez, Javier J., 2014. "Fiscal policy analysis in the euro area: Expanding the toolkit," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 800-823.

    More about this item


    Fiscal policy effectiveness; fiscal shocks; spillovers; factor-augmented VAR; Great Moderation;

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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