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A Theory of Countercyclical Government-Consumption Multiplier

  • Michaillat, Pascal

This paper proposes a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model in which the government-consumption multiplier doubles when unemployment rises from 5% to 8%. Theoretically, such countercyclicality arises because of a nonlinearity, namely, that labor supply is convex in a labor market tightness-employment diagram. In the model, as government consumption increases, public employment rises, stimulating labor demand. Equilibrium tightness increases, which reduces private employment and partially offsets the increase in public employment. Since labor supply is convex, the increase in tightness is small in recessions but large in expansions. Hence, government consumption reduces unemployment much more in recessions than in expansions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9052.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9052
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  1. Pascal Michaillat, 2012. "Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1721-50, June.
  2. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  3. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Optimal unemployment insurance over the business cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35596, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Crépon, Bruno & Duflo, Esther & Gurgand, Marc & Rathelot, Roland & Zamora, Philippe, 2012. "Do Labor Market Policies Have Displacement Effects? Evidence from a Clustered Randomized Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 9251, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. R. Anton Braun & Lena Mareen Körber & Yuichiro Waki, 2012. "Some unpleasant properties of log-linearized solutions when the nominal rate is zero," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2012-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Working Papers 17447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 517-31, October.
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