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Stimulus versus Austerity: The Asymmetric Government Spending Multiplier

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  • Barnichon, Régis
  • Matthes, Christian

Abstract

Despite intense scrutiny estimates of the government spending multiplier remain highly uncertain with values ranging from 0.5 to 2. While a fiscal consolidation is generally assumed to have the same (mirror-image) effect as a fiscal expansion, we show that relaxing this assumption is crucial to understanding the effects of fiscal policy. The government spending multiplier is substantially below 1 for fiscal expansions, but the multiplier is substantially above 1 for fiscal consolidations.

Suggested Citation

  • Barnichon, Régis & Matthes, Christian, 2015. "Stimulus versus Austerity: The Asymmetric Government Spending Multiplier," CEPR Discussion Papers 10584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10584
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
    2. Christian Matthes & Regis Barnichon, 2015. "Measuring the Non-Linear Effects of Monetary Policy," 2015 Meeting Papers 49, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    5. Valerie Ramey, 2012. "Comment on "Roads to Prosperity or Bridges to Nowhere? Theory and Evidence on the Impact of Public Infrastructure Investment"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2012, Volume 27, pages 147-153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Òscar Jordà & Alan M. Taylor, 2016. "The Time for Austerity: Estimating the Average Treatment Effect of Fiscal Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 219-255, February.
    7. Carl E. Walsh, 2010. "Monetary Theory and Policy, Third Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262013770, September.
    8. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 183-249.
    9. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Òscar Jordà, 2005. "Estimation and Inference of Impulse Responses by Local Projections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 161-182, March.
    11. Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2018. "Government Spending Multipliers in Good Times and in Bad: Evidence from US Historical Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(2), pages 850-901.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Klein, Mathias, 2016. "Austerity and private debt," Ruhr Economic Papers 642, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Mathias Klein, 2016. "Austerity and Private Debt," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1611, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Pietro Dallari & Antonio Ribba, 2015. "Economic Shocks and their Effects on Unemployment in the Euro Area Periphery under the EMU," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 114, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    4. Giuseppe Fiori & Domenico Ferraro, 2016. "Aging of the Baby Boomers: Demographics and Propagation of Tax Shocks," 2016 Meeting Papers 359, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Steven M. Fazzari & James Morley & Irina B. Panovska, 2017. "When Do Discretionary Changes in Government Spending or Taxes Have Larger Effects?," Discussion Papers 2017-04, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    6. Pietro Dallari & Antonio Ribba, 2015. "Economic Shocks and their Effects on Unemployment in the Euro Area Periphery under the EMU," Department of Economics (DEMB) 0057, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    7. Donato Masciandaro, 2014. "Macroeconomic Ideas, Business Cycles and Economic Policies: One Size Doesn’t Fit All - A Primer," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 14161, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    8. Pietro Dallari & Antonio Ribba, 2019. "The Dynamic Effects of Monetary Policy and Government Spending Shocks on Unemployment in the Peripheral Euro Area Countries," Department of Economics 0143, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    9. Dallari, Pietro & Ribba, Antonio, 2020. "The dynamic effects of monetary policy and government spending shocks on unemployment in the peripheral Euro area countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 218-232.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; Gaussian Mixture Approximation;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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