IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fednsr/402.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What fiscal policy is effective at zero interest rates?

Author

Listed:
  • Gauti B. Eggertsson

Abstract

Tax cuts can deepen a recession if the short-term nominal interest rate is zero, according to a standard New Keynesian business cycle model. An example of a contractionary tax cut is a reduction in taxes on wages. This tax cut deepens a recession because it increases deflationary pressures. Another example is a cut in capital taxes. This tax cut deepens a recession because it encourages people to save instead of spend at a time when more spending is needed. Fiscal policies aimed directly at stimulating aggregate demand work better. These policies include 1) a temporary increase in government spending; and 2) tax cuts aimed directly at stimulating aggregate demand rather than aggregate supply, such as an investment tax credit or a cut in sales taxes. The results are specific to an environment in which the interest rate is close to zero, as observed in large parts of the world today.

Suggested Citation

  • Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2009. "What fiscal policy is effective at zero interest rates?," Staff Reports 402, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:402
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr402.html
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr402.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
    2. Franco Modigliani & Charles Steindel, 1977. "Is a Tax Rebate an Effective Tool for Stabilization Policy?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 175-210.
    3. Svensson, Lars-E-O, 2001. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 277-312, February.
    4. Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Panel discussion: price stability ; How should long-term monetary policy be determined?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 625-631.
    5. Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2016. "Credit Frictions and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 30-65.
    6. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 535-563, June.
    7. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2010. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 281-295, March.
    8. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
    9. Robert J. Gordon & Robert Krenn, 2010. "The End of the Great Depression 1939-41: Policy Contributions and Fiscal Multipliers," NBER Working Papers 16380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Poterba, James M., 1996. "Retail Price Reactions to Changes in State and Local Sales Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 49(2), pages 165-176, June.
    11. Olivier Jeanne & Lars E. O. Svensson, 2007. "Credible Commitment to Optimal Escape from a Liquidity Trap: The Role of the Balance Sheet of an Independent Central Bank," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 474-490, March.
    12. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
    13. 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.
    14. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
    15. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & Brian F. Madigan, 1997. "Monetary Policy When Interest Rates Are Bounded At Zero," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 573-585, November.
    16. Summers, Lawrence, 1991. "How Should Long-Term Monetary Policy Be Determined? Panel Discussion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 625-631, August.
    17. Poterba, James M., 1996. "Retail Price Reactions to Changes in State and Local Sales Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(2), pages 165-76, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2013. "Fiscal Multipliers and Policy Coordination," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Jordi Galí (ed.),Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance, edition 1, volume 17, chapter 6, pages 175-234, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart & Brian P. Sack, 2004. "Monetary Policy Alternatives at the Zero Bound: An Empirical Assessment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 1-100.
    3. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Optimal Inflation for the US Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-52, July.
    4. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
    5. William T. Gavin & Benjamin D. Keen & Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2013. "Global Dynamics at the Zero Lower Bound," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2013-17, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    6. Jesper Lindé & Mathias Trabandt, 2018. "Should we use linearized models to calculate fiscal multipliers?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(7), pages 937-965, November.
    7. Klaeffling, Matt & López Pérez, Víctor, 2003. "Inflation targets and the liquidity trap," Working Paper Series 272, European Central Bank.
    8. Fujiwara, Ippei & Ueda, Kozo, 2013. "The fiscal multiplier and spillover in a global liquidity trap," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1264-1283.
    9. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2012. "Was the New Deal Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 524-555, February.
    10. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
    11. Florin O. Bilbiie, 2019. "Optimal Forward Guidance," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 310-345, October.
    12. Wieland, Volker & Binder, Michael & Lieberknecht, Philipp & Quintana, Jorge, 2017. "Model Uncertainty in Macroeconomics: On the Implications of Financial Frictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 12013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Ippei Fujiwara & Naoko Hara & Naohisa Hirakata & Shinichiro Watanabe & Kentaro Yoshimura, 2005. "Monetary Policy in a Liquidity Trap: What Have We Learned, and to What End?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 471-508, December.
    14. Siddartha Chattopadhyay & Betty C. Daniel, 2018. "Taylor-Rule Exit Policies for the Zero Lower Bound," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 14(5), pages 1-53, December.
    15. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Jarociński, Marek & Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2019. "Macroeconomic stabilization, monetary-fiscal interactions, and Europe's monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 22-33.
    16. Günter Coenen & Volker W. Wieland, 2004. "Exchange-Rate Policy and the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 80-84, May.
    17. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Escaping the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1030-1058, April.
    18. Richard Dennis, 2016. "Durations at the Zero Lower Bound," IMES Discussion Paper Series 16-E-11, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    19. Michael Woodford, 2011. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-35, January.
    20. Christopher Erceg & Jesper Lindé, 2014. "Is There A Fiscal Free Lunch In A Liquidity Trap?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 73-107, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; Interest rates; Taxation; Government spending policy;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:402. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Gabriella Bucciarelli (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbnyus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.