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When is the government spending multiplier large?

  • Lawrence J. Christiano
  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Sergio Rebelo

We argue that the government spending multiplier can be very large when the nominal interest rate is constant. We focus on a natural case in which the interest rate is constant, which is when the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates binds. For the economies that we consider it is optimal to increase government spending in response to shocks that make the zero bound binding.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper with number 2010-01.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedacq:2010-01
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  1. R. Anton Braun & Yuichiro Waki, 2005. "Monetary Policy during Japan's Lost Decade," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-343, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. John F. Cogan & John B. Taylor, 2012. "What the Government Purchases Multiplier Actually Multiplied in the 2009 Stimulus Package," Book Chapters, in: Lee E. Ohanian & John B. Taylor & Ian J. Wright (ed.), Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, chapter 5 Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
  3. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-81, September.
  4. Coenen, Guenter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The Zero-Interest-Rate and the Role of the Exchange Rate for Monetary Policy in Japan," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  5. Coenen, Günter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The zero-interest-rate bound and the role of the exchange rate for monetary policy in Japan," Working Paper Series 0218, European Central Bank.
  6. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 183-249.
  7. JonasD.M. Fisher & Ryan Peters, 2010. "Using Stock Returns to Identify Government Spending Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 414-436, 05.
  8. Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's All in the Timing," NBER Working Papers 15464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ilzetzki, Ethan & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Végh, Carlos A., 2013. "How big (small?) are fiscal multipliers?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 239-254.
  10. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in a Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Janice Eberly & Sergio Rebelo & Nicolas Vincent, 2008. "Investment and Value: A Neoclassical Benchmark," NBER Working Papers 13866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. James Tobin, 1969. "Money and Income: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 283, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Jordi Gali, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Joshua M. Davis, 2006. "Two flaws in business cycle dating," Working Paper 0612, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  15. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Are consumption taxes really better than income taxes?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 475-503, June.
  16. Lawrence J. Christiano & Joshua M. Davis, 2006. "Two flaws in business cycle accounting," Working Paper Series WP-06-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  17. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2003. "Fiscal Shocks and Their Consequences," NBER Working Papers 9772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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