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Transmission of government spending shocks in the euro area: Time variation and driving forces

Author

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  • Hauptmeier, Sebastian
  • Cimadomo, Jacopo
  • Kirchner, Markus

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the effects of government spending shocks and the fiscal transmission mechanism in the euro area for the period 1980-2008. Our contribution is two-fold. First, we investigate changes in the macroeconomic impact of government spending shocks using time-varying structural VAR techniques. The results show that the short-run effectiveness of government spending in stabilizing real GDP and private consumption has increased until the end-1980s but it has decreased thereafter. Moreover, government spending multipliers at longer horizons have declined substantially over the sample period. We also observe a weaker response of real wages and a stronger response of the nominal interest rate to spending shocks. Second, we provide econometric evidence on the driving forces behind the observed time variation of spending multipliers. We find that a higher ratio of credit to households over GDP, a smaller share of government investment and a larger share of public wages over total government spending have led to decreasing contemporaneous multipliers. At the same time, our results indicate that higher government debt-to-GDP ratios have negatively affected long-term multipliers. JEL Classification: C32, E62, H30, H50

Suggested Citation

  • Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Cimadomo, Jacopo & Kirchner, Markus, 2010. "Transmission of government spending shocks in the euro area: Time variation and driving forces," Working Paper Series 1219, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101219
    Note: 538998
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal transmission mechanism; Government spending shocks; structural change; Structural vector autoregressions; Time-varying parameter models;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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