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The Dark Side of Fiscal Stimulus

  • Strulik, Holger
  • Trimborn, Timo

The output multiplier turns negative before a deficit spending program expires. We show the generality of this unpleasant finding for the standard real business cycle model. We then calibrate an extended model for the US and demonstrate how fiscal stimulus slows down economic recovery from recession in the medium-run. We discuss the slowdown from recovery w.r.t.\ alternative assumptions about the size and persistence of the initial shock (severity of the recession), the assumed power of the impact multiplier, and the scale and duration of the stimulus program. We also show that results are quantitatively very similar independent from whether a recession was caused by an efficiency wedge (input-financing frictions) or a labor wedge (labor market frictions). Capital stock and output are always below their laissez-faire level of recovery when fiscal stimulus expires.

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Paper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) with number dp-466.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-466
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  1. Kenneth L. Judd, 1983. "Short-Run Analysis of Fiscal Policy in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 559, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  15. Luca Sessa & Libero Monteforte & Lorenzo Forni, 2007. "The general equilibrium effects of fiscal policy: estimates for the euro area," 2007 Meeting Papers 352, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2012. "Laffer strikes again: Dynamic scoring of capital taxes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1180-1199.
  17. Stephen Turnovsky, 2000. "The Transitional Dynamics of Fiscal Policy: Long-run Capital Accumulation and Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0018, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  18. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  19. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2013. "The dark side of fiscal stimulus," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 150, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
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  25. Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "The Economic Crisis from a Neoclassical Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 45-66, Fall.
  26. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus: A Neoclassical Perspective," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-421, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  27. Angeletos, George-Marios & Panousi, Vasia, 2009. "Revisiting the supply side effects of government spending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 137-153, March.
  28. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2008. "Anticipated Tax Reforms and Temporary Tax Cuts: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-406, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
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