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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. Roger E. A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2008. "Minimal state variable solutions to Markov-switching rational expectations models," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2008-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Hollmayr, Josef & Matthes, Christian, 2015. "Learning about fiscal policy and the effects of policy uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 142-162.
  3. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," NBER Working Papers 18420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Davig, Troy, 2004. "Regime-switching debt and taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 837-859, May.
  5. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  6. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 607-635, June.
  7. Andrew Foerster & Juan Rubio-Ramírez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2014. "Perturbation Methods for Markov-Switching DSGE Models," NBER Working Papers 20390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen Terry, 2013. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," CEP Discussion Papers dp1195, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Troy A. Davig & Eric M. Leeper & Hess Chung, 2005. "Monetary and fiscal policy switching," Research Working Paper RWP 05-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M., 2011. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and fiscal stimulus," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 211-227, February.
  13. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2013. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Ellen R. McGrattan, 2010. "Capital taxation during the U.S. Great Depression," Working Papers 670, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Born, Benjamin & Peter, Alexandra & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2013. "Fiscal news and macroeconomic volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2582-2601.
  18. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
  19. 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.
  20. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2014. "Risk Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 27-65, January.
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