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Uncertainty and fiscal cliffs

  • Davig, Troy A.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

  • Foerster, Andrew T.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

Motivated by the US Fiscal Cliff in 2012, this paper considers the short- and longer- term impact of uncertainty generated by fiscal policy. Empirical evidence shows increases in economic policy uncertainty lower investment and employment. Investment that is longer-lived and subject to a longer planning horizon responds to policy uncertainty with a lag, while capital that depreciates more quickly and can be installed with few costs falls immediately. A DSGE model incorporating uncertainty over future tax regimes produces responses to fiscal uncertainty that match key features of the data. The model features uncertainty over the average tax rate and rational expectations about the resolution of uncertainty with specific outcomes and timing. Uncertainty injects noise into the economy and lowers the level of economic activity.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 14-4.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp14-04
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  1. Christopher House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2006. "Temporary Investment Tax Incentives: Theory with Evidence from Bonus Depreciation," NBER Working Papers 12514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ellen R. McGrattan, 2010. "Capital taxation during the U.S. Great Depression," Staff Report 451, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2006. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," Caepr Working Papers 2006-001, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  4. Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Roger E. A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2010. "Minimal State Variable Solutions to Markov-switching Rational Expectations Models," Emory Economics 1003, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  6. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2009. "Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interactions and Fiscal Stimulus," NBER Working Papers 15133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andrew Foerster & Juan Rubio-Ramirez & Dan Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2013. "Perturbation methods for Markov-switching DSGE model," Research Working Paper RWP 13-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  9. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," NBER Working Papers 18420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  11. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper & Hess Chung, 2004. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Switching," NBER Working Papers 10362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Benjamin Born & Alexandra Peter & Johannes Pfeifer, 2011. "Fiscal News and Macroeconomic Volatility," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse08_2011, University of Bonn, Germany.
  13. Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2013. "The Consequences of Uncertain Debt Targets," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2013-18, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  14. Josef Hollmayr & Christian Matthes, 2013. "Learning about fiscal policy and the effects of policy uncertainty," Working Paper 13-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  15. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2013. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," Working Papers 13-12, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  16. Francesco Bianchi, 2012. "Evolving Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 167-72, May.
  17. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2014. "Risk Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 27-65, January.
  18. Davig, Troy, 2004. "Regime-switching debt and taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 837-859, May.
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