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Fiscal Policy and Learning

  • Mitra, Kaushik
  • Evans, George W.
  • Honkapohja, Seppo

Using the standard real business cycle model with lump-sum taxes, we analyze the impact of fiscal policy when agents form expectations using adaptive learning rather than rational expectations (RE). The output multipliers for government purchases are significantly higher under learning, and fall within empirical bounds reported in the literature (in sharp contrast to the implausibly low values under RE). Effectiveness of fiscal policy is demonstrated during times of economic stress like the recent Great Recession. Finally it is shown how learning can lead to dynamics empirically documented during episodes of 'fiscal consolidations.'

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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2012-10.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:313
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  1. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "The output, employment, and interest rate effects of government consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 73-86, October.
  2. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 467, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2008. "Expectations, Learning and Business Cycle Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 14181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. King, R.G. & Baxter, M., 1990. "Fiscal Policy In General Equilibrium," RCER Working Papers 244, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Michael Kumhof & Dirk Muir & Carlos de Resende & Jan in ‘t Veld & René Lalonde & Davide Furceri & Annabelle Mourougane & John Roberts & Stephen Snudden & Mathias Trabandt & Günter Coenen & Susanna, 2010. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," IMF Working Papers 10/73, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Marimon, Ramon, 2001. "Convergence In Monetary Inflation Models With Heterogeneous Learning Rules," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 1-31, February.
  7. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Working Paper Series 2007-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2009. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," CEPR Discussion Papers 7236, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
  10. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:4:p:1399-1436 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 75-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Giuseppe Bertola & Allan Drazen, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," NBER Working Papers 3844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  14. Campbell, John, 1994. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," Scholarly Articles 3196342, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Eva Carceles-Poveda & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2007. "Online Appendix to Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," Technical Appendices carceles08, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  16. Heijdra, Ben J., 2009. "Foundations of Modern Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199210695, July.
  17. Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2006. "Supply-side reforms and learning dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 291-309, March.
  18. Carceles-Poveda, Eva & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 6223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Ardagna, Silvia, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," Scholarly Articles 22801844, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2011. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," NBER Working Papers 17444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy with Imperfect Knowledge," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 366-375, 04-05.
  22. Preston, Bruce, 2006. "Adaptive learning, forecast-based instrument rules and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 507-535, April.
  23. repec:clu:wpaper:0708-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Maria Gabriella Briotti, 2005. "Economic reactions to public finance consolidation - a survey of the literature," Occasional Paper Series 38, European Central Bank.
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