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

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

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

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1219.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101219
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  1. Gambetti, Luca & D’Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico, 2010. "Macroeconomic forecasting and structural change," Working Paper Series 1167, European Central Bank.
  2. Karel Mertens & Morten Ravn, 2010. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks," NBER Working Papers 16289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Uhlig, Harald, 2005. "What are the effects of monetary policy on output? Results from an agnostic identification procedure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 381-419, March.
  4. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  5. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. John Cogan & Tobias Cwik & John Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2009. "New Keynesian Versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers," Discussion Papers 08-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2009. "Government Investment and Fiscal Stimulus in the Short and Long Runs," NBER Working Papers 15153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Luca Sessa & Libero Monteforte & Lorenzo Forni, 2007. "The general equilibrium effects of fiscal policy: estimates for the euro area," 2007 Meeting Papers 352, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Roberto Perotti, 2007. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 13143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Canova, Fabio & Gambetti, Luca, 2009. "Structural changes in the US economy: Is there a role for monetary policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 477-490, February.
  11. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Jacopo Cimadomo, 2006. "Changing Patterns of Domestic and Cross-Border Fiscal Policy Multipliers in Europe and the US," Working Papers 2006-24, CEPII research center.
  12. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jerome & Mestre, Ricardo, 2005. "An area-wide model for the euro area," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 39-59, January.
  13. Christoffel, Kai & Coenen, Günter & Warne, Anders, 2008. "The New Area-Wide Model of the euro area: a micro-founded open-economy model for forecasting and policy analysis," Working Paper Series 0944, European Central Bank.
  14. Fissel, Gary S & Jappelli, Tullio, 1990. "Do Liquidity Constraints Vary over Time? Evidence from Survey and Panel Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(2), pages 253-62, May.
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