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Uncertainty and Fiscal Cliffs

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  • Troy A. Davig
  • Andrew T. Foerster

Abstract

Large pending fiscal policy changes, such as in the United States in 2012 or in Japan with consumption taxes, often generate considerable uncertainty. ?Fiscal cliff? episodes have several features: an announced possible future change, a skewed set of possible out-comes, the possibility that implementation may not actually occur, and a known resolution date. This paper develops a model capturing these features and studies their impact. Fiscal cliff uncertainty shocks have immediate impact, with a magnitude that depends on the probability of implementation, which generates economic volatility. The possibility of fiscal cliffs lowers economic activity even in periods of relative certainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Troy A. Davig & Andrew T. Foerster, 2018. "Uncertainty and Fiscal Cliffs," Working Paper Series 2018-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, revised 05 Sep 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2018-12
    DOI: 10.24148/wp2018-12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Murray, James, 2014. "Fiscal Policy Uncertainty and Its Macroeconomic Consequences," MPRA Paper 57409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Richter, Alexander W., 2015. "Finite lifetimes, long-term debt and the fiscal limit," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 180-203.
    3. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
    4. Bi, Huixin & Shen, Wenyi & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2016. "Debt-dependent effects of fiscal expansions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 142-157.
    5. Andrew T. Foerster, 2014. "The asymmetric effects of uncertainty," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-26.
    6. Kim, Wongi, 2019. "Government spending policy uncertainty and economic activity: US time series evidence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-1.
    7. Hollmayr, Josef, 2018. "Fiscal regimes and the (non)stationarity of debt," Discussion Papers 11/2018, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    8. Ricco, Giovanni & Callegari, Giovanni & Cimadomo, Jacopo, 2014. "Signals from the Government: Policy Uncertainty and the Transmission of Fiscal Shocks," MPRA Paper 56136, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Shoag, Daniel & Veuger, Stan, 2016. "Uncertainty and the geography of the great recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 84-93.
    10. Caliendo, Frank N. & Guo, Nick L. & Smith, Jason M., 2018. "Policy uncertainty and bank bailouts," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 111-125.
    11. Caliendo, Frank N. & Gorry, Aspen & Slavov, Sita, 2019. "The cost of uncertainty about the timing of Social Security reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 101-125.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General

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