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Natural Experiments in Macroeconomics

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  • Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola
  • Hassan, Tarek

Abstract

A growing literature relies on natural experiments to establish causal effects in macroeconomics. In diverse applications, natural experiments have been used to verify underlying assumptions of conventional models, quantify specific model parameters, and identify mechanisms that have major effects on macroeconomic quantities but are absent from conventional models. We discuss and compare the use of natural experiments across these different applications and summarize what they have taught us about such diverse subjects as the validity of the Permanent Income Hypothesis, the size of the fiscal multiplier, and about the effects of institutions, social structure, and culture on economic growth. We also outline challenges for future work in each of these fields, give guidance for identifying useful natural experiments, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Hassan, Tarek, 2015. "Natural Experiments in Macroeconomics," CEPR Discussion Papers 10628, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10628
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    Cited by:

    1. Tullio Jappelli & Annalisa Scognamiglio, 2016. "Monetary Policy, Mortgages and Consumption: Evidence from Italy," CSEF Working Papers 454, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    2. Andreas Fagereng & Martin B. Holm & Gisle J. Natvik, 2016. "MPC heterogeneity and household balance sheets," Discussion Papers 852, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2017. "Undergraduate Econometrics Instruction: Through Our Classes, Darkly," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 125-144, Spring.
    4. Olsson, Ola & Valsecchi, Michele, 2015. "Resource Windfalls and Local Government Behaviour: Evidence From a Policy Reform in Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics 635, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Pannenberg, Markus & Friehe, Tim, 2017. "Time preferences and political regimes: Evidence from reunified Germany," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168173, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Dionissi Aliprantis & Daniel R. Carroll, 2012. "Neighborhood dynamics and the distribution of opportunity," Working Paper 1212, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 01 Feb 2013.
    7. Kukharskyy, Bohdan & Pflüger, Michael P., 2018. "Time Is on My Side: Relational Contracts and Aggregate Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 11387, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Jan Fidrmuc & Sugata Ghosh & Weonho Yang, 2015. "Natural Disasters, Government Spending, and the Fiscal Multiplier," CESifo Working Paper Series 5665, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civic Capital; Fiscal Multiplier; Institutions; Multiple Equilibria; Networks; Permanent Income Hypothesis; Social Structure; Social Ties; Trust;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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