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Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach

  • Mertens, Karel
  • Ravn, Morten O

Empirical estimates of the impact of government spending shocks disagree on central issues such as the size of output multipliers and the responses of consumption and the real wage. One explanation for the disagreement is that fiscal shocks are often anticipated. Due to misspecification of the information set, anticipation effects may invalidate SVAR estimates of impulse responses. We use economic theory to derive a fiscal SVAR estimator that is applicable when fiscal shocks are anticipated. We study its properties and apply it to US data. We fail to find evidence that anticipation effects overturn the existing findings from the fiscal SVAR literature.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7423.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7423
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  1. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Deep Habits," NBER Working Papers 10261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2012. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated US Tax Policy Shocks," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 145-81, May.
  3. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," Caepr Working Papers 2008-013, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  4. Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1994. "VAR analysis, non-fundamental representations, Blashke matrices," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10151, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Mountford, Andrew & Uhlig, Harald, 2002. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Cosmin L. Ilut & Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2010. "Monetary Policy and Stock Market Booms," Working Papers 10-69, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  7. Ravn, Morten O & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2007. "Explaining the Effects of Government Spending Shocks on Consumption and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 6541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "Does information help recovering structural shocks from past observations?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 455-465, 04-05.
  9. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Meier, André & Müller, Gernot, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus with spending reversals," CEPR Discussion Papers 7302, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2007. "Assessing Structural VARs," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 1-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2009. "What’s News in Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 7201, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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