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Econometric analysis of regime switches and of fiscal multipliers


  • Sylvérie Herbert

    () (Sciences-po)


Debates on the appropriate response of fiscal policy to economic downturns, such as the debates on the merits of austerity measures in Europe, have been centered on the size of the fiscal multipliers. Indeed, empirical and theoretical evidence suggests larger multipliers at times of recession than in expansions,thereby conditioning the success of fiscal consolidation - the higher the multiplier,the more costly the austerity would be in terms of growth of output. We extend the technique of vector autoregressions (VARs) to account for the possibility of time-variant fiscal multipliers for France, Germany, Italy and the United States. We estimate a 3-variable non linear smooth transition vector autoregression, following Auerbach and Gorodnichenko (2012a) Our results suggest that the output multiplier of government purchases is significantly higher in recessions than expansions for the United States.France,and Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvérie Herbert, 2014. "Econometric analysis of regime switches and of fiscal multipliers," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2014-01, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:1401

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baum, Anja & Koester, Gerrit B., 2011. "The impact of fiscal policy on economic activity over the business cycle - evidence from a threshold VAR analysis," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,03, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
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    6. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. Michael T. Owyang & Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2013. "Are government spending multipliers greater during periods of slack? evidence from 20th century historical data," Working Papers 2013-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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    13. Anja Baum & Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro & Anke Weber, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and the State of the Economy," IMF Working Papers 12/286, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item


    Fiscal policy; smooth transition vector autoregression STVAR; fiscal multipliers; impulse response function; monetary policy.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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