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The Limits to Fiscal Stimulus

  • Buiter, Willem H.

The paper considers the case for an internationally coordinated further fiscal stimulus during the second half of 2009. Although this makes some of the analysis period-specific, most of the issues and principles considered are timeless. For a fiscal stimulus to be both effective there must be idle resources due to a failure of effective demand. For it to be desirable, there must be no alternative policy instruments (including monetary policy) for boosting demand. There must be no complete financial crowding out and no complete direct crowding out, through Ricardian equivalence/debt neutrality, through Minsky equivalence or through a high degree of substitutability between private and public exhaustive expenditure in private preferences or production possibilities. Finally, for international coordination to be desirable, there must be cross-border externalities from national fiscal stimuli. The paper considers each of these conditions in turn.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7607.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7607
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  1. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
  2. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2010. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 281-295, March.
  3. Ilzetzki, Ethan & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Végh, Carlos A., 2013. "How big (small?) are fiscal multipliers?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 239-254.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier J & Cottarelli, Carlo & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Symansky, Steven, 2009. "Fiscal Policy for the Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 7130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    • Antonio Spilimbergo & Steve Symansky & Olivier Blanchard & Carlo Cottarelli, 2009. "Fiscal Policy For The Crisis," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(2), pages 26-32, 07.
  5. Roberto Perotti, 2008. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2007, Volume 22, pages 169-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2009. "How large are the effects of tax changes?," NBER Working Papers 15303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Buiter, Willem H., 2009. "Negative nominal interest rates: Three ways to overcome the zero lower bound," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 213-238, December.
  9. Blinder, Alan S, 1987. "Credit Rationing and Effective Supply Failures," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(386), pages 327-52, June.
  10. Christopher D. Carroll, 1996. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 5788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mountford, A.W. & Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 2002. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," Discussion Paper 2002-31, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
  13. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973, March.
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