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How does government spending stimulate consumption?

  • Murphy, Daniel P.

Recent empirical work finds that government spending shocks cause aggregate consumption to increase over the business cycle, contrary to the predictions of Neoclassical and New Keynesian models. This paper proposes a mechanism to account for the consumption increase that builds on the framework of imperfect information in Lucas (1972) and Lorenzoni (2009). In my model, owners of firms targeted by an increase in government spending perceive an increase in their permanent income relative to their future tax liabilities. Owners of firms not targeted remain unaware of the implicit increase in future tax liabilities, causing aggregate consumption to increase. A testable implication of the proposed model is that the value of firms should increase, implying all else equal an increase in aggregate stock returns. This prediction of the model is shown to be consistent with empirical evidence.

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File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/institute/wpapers/2013/0157.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper with number 157.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:157
Note: Published as: Murphy, Daniel P. (2015), "How Does Government Spending Stimulate Consumption?" Review of Economic Dynamics 18 (3): 551-574.
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  1. 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.
  2. Dean Croushore, 2011. "Frontiers of Real-Time Data Analysis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 72-100, March.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Charles J. Redlick, 2009. "Macroeconomic Effects from Government Purchases and Taxes," NBER Working Papers 15369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael Woodford, 2011. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-35, January.
  5. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Ryan Peters, 2009. "Using stock returns to identify government spending shocks," Working Paper Series WP-09-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Sims, Eric R., 2012. "Confidence and the transmission of government spending shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 235-249.
  7. Galí, Jordi & López-Salido, David & Vallés, Javier, 2004. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Working Paper Series 0339, European Central Bank.
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  9. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
  10. Barbara Rossi & Sarah Zubairy, 2011. "What is the Importance of Monetary and Fiscal Shocks in Explaining US Macroeconomic Fluctuations?," Working Papers 11-02, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  11. GONÇALVES, Silvia & KILIAN, Lutz, 2003. "Bootstrapping Autoregressions with Conditional Heteroskedasticity of Unknown Form," Cahiers de recherche 2003-01, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  12. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
  14. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  16. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2010. "Industry evidence on the effects of government spending," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  18. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2013. "The Cyclical Behavior of the Price-Cost Markup," NBER Working Papers 19099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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