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Is there a fiscal free lunch in a liquidity trap?

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Abstract

This paper uses a DSGE model to examine the effects of an expansion in government spending in a liquidity trap. If the liquidity trap is very prolonged, the spending multiplier can be much larger than in normal circumstances, and the budgetary costs minimal. But given this \"fiscal free lunch,\" it is unclear why policymakers would want to limit the size of fiscal expansion. Our paper addresses this question in a model environment in which the duration of the liquidity trap is determined endogenously, and depends on the size of the fiscal stimulus. We show that even if the multiplier is high for small increases in government spending, it may decrease substantially at higher spending levels; thus, it is crucial to distinguish between the marginal and average responses of output and government debt.

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  • Christopher J. Erceg & Jesper Lindé, 2010. "Is there a fiscal free lunch in a liquidity trap?," International Finance Discussion Papers 1003, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary policy; Fiscal policy; Liquidity (Economics);
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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