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Deficits, public debt dynamics, and tax and spending multipliers

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Listed:
  • Matthew Denes
  • Gauti B. Eggertsson
  • Sophia Gilbukh

Abstract

Cutting government spending on goods and services increases the budget deficit if the nominal interest rate is close to zero. This is the message of a simple but standard New Keynesian DSGE model calibrated with Bayesian methods. The cut in spending reduces output and thus—holding rates for labor and sales taxes constant—reduces revenues by even more than what is saved by the spending cut. Similarly, increasing sales taxes can increase the budget deficit rather than reduce it. Both results suggest limitations of “austerity measures” in low interest rate economies to cut budget deficits. Running budget deficits can by itself be either expansionary or contractionary for output, depending on how deficits interact with expectations about the long run in the model. If deficits trigger expectations of i) lower long-run government spending, ii) higher long-run sales taxes, or iii) higher future inflation, they are expansionary. If deficits trigger expectations of higher long-run labor taxes or lower long-run productivity, they are contractionary.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Denes & Gauti B. Eggertsson & Sophia Gilbukh, 2012. "Deficits, public debt dynamics, and tax and spending multipliers," Staff Reports 551, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:551
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Denis Gorea & Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Tamon Takamura, 2016. "Leaning Within a Flexible Inflation-Targeting Framework: Review of Costs and Benefits," Discussion Papers 16-17, Bank of Canada.
    2. Burgert, Matthias & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2014. "Dealing with a liquidity trap when government debt matters: Optimal time-consistent monetary and fiscal policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 282-299.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & Barbiero, Omar & Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco & Paradisi, Matteo, 2017. "The effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 12016, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Simon Gilchrist & Raphael Schoenle & Jae Sim & Egon Zakrajšek, 2017. "Inflation Dynamics during the Financial Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 785-823, March.
    5. Rannenberg, Ansgar, 2017. "The effect of fiscal policy and forward guidance with preferences over wealth," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168070, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. repec:wly:jmoncb:v:49:y:2017:i:4:p:695-732 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Volker Hahn, 2017. "Policy Effects in a Simple Fully Non-Linear New Keynesian Model of the Liquidity Trap," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2017-05, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    8. Taisuke Nakata, 2018. "Reputation and Liquidity Traps," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 252-268, April.
    9. Gernot J. Müller, 2014. "Fiscal Austerity and the Multiplier in Times of Crisis," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 15(2), pages 243-258, May.
    10. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Kevin B. Proulx, 2016. "Bernanke’s No-Arbitrage Argument Revisited: Can Open Market Operations in Real Assets Eliminate the Liquidity Trap?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Elías Albagli & Diego Saravia & Michael Woodford (ed.), Monetary Policy through Asset Markets: Lessons from Unconventional Measures and Implications for an Integrated World, edition 1, volume 24, chapter 3, pages 063-104 Central Bank of Chile.
    11. Christophe Blot & Marion Cochard & Jérôme Creel & Bruno Ducoudré & Danielle Schweisguth & Xavier Timbeau, 2014. "Fiscal consolidation in times of crisis: is the sooner really the better?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 159-192.
    12. Taisuke Nakata, 2018. "Reputation and Liquidity Traps," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 252-268, April.
    13. Rannenberg, Ansgar & Schoder, Christian & Strasky, Jan, 2015. "The macroeconomic effects of the Euro Area's fiscal consolidation 2011-2013: A Simulation-based approach," Research Technical Papers 03/RT/15, Central Bank of Ireland.
    14. Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Klemm, Alexander, 2016. "The growth impact of discretionary fiscal policy measures," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 265-279.
    15. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2017. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2409-2454, August.
    16. Benjamin Egron, 2018. "Réduction du ratio de dette publique : quels instruments pour quels effets ?," EconomiX Working Papers 2018-1, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    17. Ackon, Kwabena Meneabe, 2013. "Effect of Fiscal Policy Shocks in Brazil," MPRA Paper 72534, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Dupor, Bill & Li, Rong, 2015. "The expected inflation channel of government spending in the postwar U.S," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 36-56.
    19. Mariana Garcıa-Schmidt & Michael Woodford, "undated". "Are Low Interest Rates Deflationary? A Paradox of Perfect- Foresight Analysis," Working Papers Series 18, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    20. Ansgar Rannenberg & Christian Schoder & Jan Strásky, 2015. "The macroeconomic effects of the Euro Area?s fiscal consolidation 2011-2013," IMK Working Paper 156-2015, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    21. Boneva, Lena Mareen & Braun, R. Anton & Waki, Yuichiro, 2016. "Some unpleasant properties of loglinearized solutions when the nominal rate is zero," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 216-232.
    22. Boubaker, Sabri & Nguyen, Duc Khuong & Paltalidis, Nikos, 2016. "Fiscal Policy Interventions at the Zero Lower Bound," MPRA Paper 84673, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2017.
    23. repec:cai:recosp:reco_hs02_0159 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Nkrumah, Kwabena Meneabe, 2013. "Effect of Fiscal Policy Shocks in Brazil," MPRA Paper 85432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    25. Sebastian Schmidt, 2017. "Fiscal Activism and the Zero Nominal Interest Rate Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(4), pages 695-732, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Keynesian economics ; Taxation ; Interest rates ; Budget deficits ; Deficit financing ; Government spending policy ; Liquidity (Economics);

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