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Fiscal policy in the aftermath of 9/11

  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Jonas Fisher

This paper investigates the nature of U.S. fiscal policy in the aftermath of 9/11. We argue that the recent dramatic fall in the government surplus and the large fall in tax rates cannot be accounted for by either the state of the U.S. economy as of 9/11 or as the typical response of fiscal policy to a large exogenous rise in military expenditures. Our evidence suggests that, had tax rates responded in the way they ‘normally’ do to large exogenous changes in government spending, aggregate output would have been lower and the surplus would not have changed by much. The unusually large fall in tax rates had an expansionary impact on output and was the primary force underlying the large decline in the surplus. Our results do not bear directly on the question of whether the decline in tax rates and the decline in the surplus after 9/11 were desirable or not.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-04-06.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-04-06
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  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
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  6. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
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  8. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Understanding the effects of a shock to government purchases," Working Paper Series WP-98-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2003. "Stock Market and Investment Goods Prices: Implications for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 10031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  11. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
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