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The analytics of SVARs: a unified framework to measure fiscal multipliers

  • Dario Caldara
  • Christophe Kamps

Does fiscal policy stimulate output? SVARs have been used to address this question but no stylized facts have emerged. We derive analytical relationships between the output elasticities of fiscal variables and fiscal multipliers. We show that standard identification schemes imply different priors on elasticities, generating a large dispersion in multiplier estimates. We then use extra-model information to narrow the set of empirically plausible elasticities, allowing for sharper inference on multipliers. Our results for the U.S. for the period 1947-2006 suggest that the probability of the tax multiplier being larger than the spending multiplier is below 0.5 at all horizons.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-20.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-20
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  1. Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2003. " Fiscal Policy in the New Neoclassical Synthesis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 911-29, December.
  2. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," Caepr Working Papers 2008-013, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  3. Fabio Canova & Evi Pappa, 2003. "Price differentials in monetary unions: The role of fiscal shocks," Economics Working Papers 923, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2005.
  4. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "Does information help recovering structural shocks from past observations?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/166169, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Leeper, Eric M. & Plante, Michael & Traum, Nora, 2010. "Dynamics of fiscal financing in the United States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 304-321, June.
  6. Ryan Chahrour & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2010. "A Model-Based Evaluation of the Debate on the Size of the Tax Multiplier," NBER Working Papers 16169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Juan F. Rubio-Ram�rez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2010. "Structural Vector Autoregressions: Theory of Identification and Algorithms for Inference," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 665-696.
  8. Karel Mertens & Morten Overgaard Ravn, 2010. "Online Appendix to "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks"," Technical Appendices 09-221, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  9. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti, 2010. "Fiscal Foresight and the Effects of Government Spending," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 049, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  10. Caldara, Dario & Kamps, Christophe, 2008. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks? A VAR-based comparative analysis," Working Paper Series 0877, European Central Bank.
  11. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O, 2012. "A Reconciliation of SVAR and Narrative Estimates of Tax Multipliers," CEPR Discussion Papers 8973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O, 2009. "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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