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The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending : It’s All About Taxes

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  • Axelle Ferrière
  • Gaston Navarro

Abstract

This paper investigates how government spending multipliers depend on the distribution of taxes across households. We exploit historical variations in the financing of spending in the U.S. since 1913 to show that multipliers are positive only when financed with more progressive taxes, and zero otherwise. We rationalize this finding within a heterogeneous-household model with indivisible labor supply. The model results in a lower labor responsiveness to tax changes for higher-income earners. In turn, spending financed with more progressive taxes induces a smaller crowding-out, and thus larger multipliers. Finally, we provide evidence in support of the model?s cross-sectional implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Axelle Ferrière & Gaston Navarro, 2018. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending : It’s All About Taxes," International Finance Discussion Papers 1237, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1237
    DOI: 10.17016/IFDP.2018.1237
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending: It’s All About Taxes
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2016-11-14 22:26:17

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    Cited by:

    1. Minjoon Lee & Jinhui Bai & Fudong Zhang & Ruediger Bachmann, 2014. "The Welfare Costs of Fiscal Uncertainty: a Quantitative Evaluation," 2014 Meeting Papers 744, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai & Minjoon Lee & Fudong Zhang, . "The Welfare and Distributional Effects of Fiscal Volatility: a Quantitative Evaluation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Ercolani Valerio & Pavoni Nicola, 2019. "The Precautionary Saving Effect of Government Consumption," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(1), pages 1-32, January.
    4. Kurt Mitman & Iourii Manovskii & Marcus Hagedorn, 2017. "The Fiscal Multiplier," 2017 Meeting Papers 1383, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CEF.UP Working Papers 1703, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    6. Minchul Yum, 2018. "On the distribution of wealth and employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 86-105, October.
    7. Pedro Brinca & Hans Holter & Miguel Faria-e-Castro & Miguel Ferreira, 2019. "The Nonlinear Effects of Fiscal Policy," 2019 Meeting Papers 934, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Pedro Brinca & Hans A. Holter & Per Krusell & Laurence Malafry, 2015. "Fiscal Multipliers in the 21st Century," LWS Working papers 21, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    9. Brinca, Pedro & Duarte, João B. & Holter, Hans A. & Oliveira, João G., 2019. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Taxation and Inequality in the U.S," MPRA Paper 91960, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Kopiec, Paweł, 2018. "Employment Prospects and the Propagation of Fiscal Stimulus," MPRA Paper 85029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Ferrreira, Ana Melissa, 2019. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Inequality in the U.S," MPRA Paper 93914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Kopiec, Pawel, 2019. "Household Heterogeneity and the Value of Government Spending Multiplier: an Analytical Characterization," MPRA Paper 93499, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Gaston Navarro & Axelle Ferriere & Daniel Feenberg, 2017. "Evolution of Tax Progressivity in the U.S.: New Estimates and Welfare Implications," 2017 Meeting Papers 989, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Guerreiro, Joao & Rebelo, Sérgio & Teles, Pedro, 2019. "What is the Optimal Immigration Policy? Migration, Jobs and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 13909, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Heer, Burkhard & Scharrer, Christian, 2018. "The age-specific burdens of short-run fluctuations in government spending," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 45-75.
    16. Pfammatter, Andrea Corina, 2015. "Do differences in international labor mobility lead to differences in the fiscal multiplier? A theoretical approach," MPRA Paper 68955, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Thomas Philippon & Francisco Roldán, 2018. "On the Optimal Speed of Sovereign Deleveraging with Precautionary Savings," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(2), pages 375-413, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal stimulus; Government spending; Transfers; Heterogeneous agents;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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