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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. 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.
  2. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2014. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," Working Papers 14-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Troy A. Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2009. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and fiscal stimulus," Research Working Paper RWP 09-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  4. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Can News about the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1097-1118, September.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2014. "Risk Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 27-65, January.
  7. Hess Chung & Troy Davig & Eric Leeper, 2004. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Switching," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 274, Econometric Society.
  8. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty shocks in a model of effective demand," Working Papers 12-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Ellen R. McGrattan, 2010. "Capital taxation during the U.S. Great Depression," Staff Report 451, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Andrew Foerster & Juan Rubio-Ramirez & Dan Waggoner & Ta Zha, 2013. "Perturbation Methods for Markov-Switching DSGE Models," Working Papers 2013-22, FEDEA.
  11. Josef Hollmayr & Christian Matthes, 2013. "Learning about fiscal policy and the effects of policy uncertainty," Working Paper 13-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  12. 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.
  13. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
  14. Christopher L. House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Temporary Investment Tax Incentives: Theory with Evidence from Bonus Depreciation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 737-68, June.
  15. Davig, Troy, 2004. "Regime-switching debt and taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 837-859, May.
  16. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1 - 46.
  17. 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.
  18. Benjamin Born & Alexandra Peter & Johannes Pfeifer, 2011. "Fiscal News and Macroeconomic Volatility," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse08_2011, University of Bonn, Germany.
  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. 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.
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