IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/han/dpaper/dp-421.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fiscal Stimulus: A Neoclassical Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Strulik, Holger
  • Trimborn, Timo

Abstract

Can a large-scale defcit spending program speed up recovery after recession? To answer that question we calibrate a standard neoclassical growth model with US data and assume that an exogenous shock has driven aggregate output far below steady-state level. We calibrate the model such that a permanent increase of government expenditure is effective in raising output. We then show that "fiscal stimulus", i.e. a temporary increase of government expenditure is not only ineffective but detrimental. Even before the spending program expires, aggregate output is lower than it could be without fiscal stimulus. We show the generality of this result w.r.t. size and persistence of the shock, size of the government spending multiplier, and the scale and duration of the stimulus program. Using a phase diagram we provide the economic intuition for our unpleasant finding and explain why, generally, private capital stock reaches its lowest level when a deficit spending program expires. We also show how an accompanying temporary cut of capital income taxes helps to prevent the negative repercussion of deficit spending on economic recovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus: A Neoclassical Perspective," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-421, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-421
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://diskussionspapiere.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/pdf_bib/dp-421.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    2. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Judd, Kenneth L, 1985. "Short-run Analysis of Fiscal Policy in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 298-319, April.
    4. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "The output, employment, and interest rate effects of government consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 73-86, October.
    5. Craig Burnside & Martin S. Eichenbaum & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 1999. "Assessing the effects of fiscal shocks," Working Paper Series WP-99-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Ludvigson, Sydney, 1996. "The macroeconomic effects of government debt in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 25-45, August.
    7. Trimborn, Timo & Koch, Karl-Josef & Steger, Thomas M., 2008. "Multidimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numerical Procedure," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 301-319, June.
    8. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007, Elsevier.
    9. Barro, Robert J, 1981. "Output Effects of Government Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1086-1121, December.
    10. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2008. "Using the general equilibrium growth model to study great depressions: a reply to Temin," Staff Report 418, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    11. Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "Nobel Lecture: The Transformation of Macroeconomic Policy and Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 203-235, April.
    12. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
    13. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
    14. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "Current Real-Business-Cycle Theories and Aggregate Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 430-450, June.
    15. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2007. "Business Cycle Accounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 781-836, May.
    16. Peter Temin, 2008. "Real Business Cycle Views of the Great Depression and Recent Events: A Review of Timothy J. Kehoe and Edward C. Prescott's Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 669-684, September.
    17. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Anticipated tax reforms and temporary tax cuts: A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2141-2158, October.
    18. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102, Elsevier.
    19. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio, 1990. "Public Policy and Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 126-150, October.
    20. Cooley, Thomas F. & Hansen, Gary D., 1992. "Tax distortions in a neoclassical monetary economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 290-316, December.
    21. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
    22. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Accounting for the Great Depression," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 27(Spr), pages 2-8.
    23. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
    24. 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.
    25. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-334, June.
    26. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 245-272, January.
    27. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
    28. Abel, Andrew B., 1982. "Dynamic effects of permanent and temporary tax policies in a q model of investment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 353-373.
    29. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2011. "The Dark Side of Fiscal Stimulus," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-466, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    2. Volker Clausen & Hans-Werner Wohltmann, 2011. "Oil Price Shocks and Cyclical Dynamics in an Asymmetric Monetary Union," Ruhr Economic Papers 0247, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Clausen, Volker & Wohltmann, Hans-Werner, 2011. "Oil Price Shocks and Cyclical Dynamics in an Asymmetric Monetary Union," Ruhr Economic Papers 247, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0247 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:got:cegedp:150 is not listed 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. Trimborn, Timo & Strulik, Holger, 2011. "The Dark Side of Fiscal Stimulus," VfS Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48725, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Anticipated tax reforms and temporary tax cuts: A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2141-2158, October.
    3. S. Rebelo., 2010. "Real Business Cycle Models: Past, Present, and Future," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 10.
    4. Özer Karagedikli & Troy Matheson & Christie Smith & Shaun P. Vahey, 2010. "RBCs AND DSGEs: THE COMPUTATIONAL APPROACH TO BUSINESS CYCLE THEORY AND EVIDENCE," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 113-136, February.
    5. Strulik Holger & Trimborn Timo, 2017. "The Spending Multiplier in the Medium Run," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 154-181, May.
    6. Campbell, John Y., 1994. "Inspecting the mechanism: An analytical approach to the stochastic growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 463-506, June.
    7. Louis Phaneuf & Jang-Ok Cho, 1992. "A Business Cycle Model with Nominal Wage Contracts and Government," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 6, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal, revised Jan 1993.
    8. Riccardo Fiorito & Giulio Zanella, "undated". "Labor Supply Elasticities: Can Micro be Misleading for Macro?," Working Papers 4, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
    9. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2012. "Laffer strikes again: Dynamic scoring of capital taxes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1180-1199.
    10. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
    11. Patrick Fève & Julien Matheron & Jean-Guillaume Sahuc, 2011. "A Pitfall with DSGE–Based, Estimated, Government Spending Multipliers," 2011 Meeting Papers 136, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
    13. Coenen, Günter, 1998. "Intertemporal effects of fiscal policy in an RBC model," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 1998,02e, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    14. Ludvigson, Sydney, 1996. "The macroeconomic effects of government debt in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 25-45, August.
    15. Ellen R. M cG rattan & Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "Does Neoclassical Theory Account For The Effects Of Big Fiscal Shocks? Evidence From World War Ii," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 509-532, May.
    16. Leeper, Eric M. & Yang, Shu-Chun Susan, 2008. "Dynamic scoring: Alternative financing schemes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 159-182, February.
    17. Hafedh Bouakez & Nooman Rebei, 2007. "Why does private consumption rise after a government spending shock?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 954-979, August.
    18. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    19. Dupaigne, Martial & Fève, Patrick, 2016. "Persistent government spending and fiscal multipliers: The investment-channel," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 425-453.
    20. Clarke, Andrew J. & Johri, Alok, 2009. "Procyclical Solow Residuals Without Technology Shocks," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 366-389, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    deficit spending; government spending multiplier; economic recovery; economic growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

    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:han:dpaper:dp-421. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Heidrich, Christian). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/fwhande.html .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.