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Fiscal Policy Rules and Regime (In)Stability: Evidence from the U.S

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  • Carlo Favero
  • Tommaso Monacelli

Abstract

We employ Markov-switching regression methods to estimate fiscal policy feedback rules in the U.S. for the period 1960-2002. Our approach allows to capture policy regime changes endogenously. We reach three main conclusions. First, fiscal policy may be characterized, according to Leeper (1991) terminology, as active from the 1960s throughout the 1980s, switching gradually to passive in the early 1990s and switching back to active in early 2001. Second, regime-switching fiscal rules are capable of tracking the time-series behaviour of the U.S. primary deficit better than rules based on a constant parameter specification. Third, regime-switches in monetary and fiscal policy rules do not exhibit any degree of synchronization. Our results are at odds with the view that the post-war U.S. fiscal policy regime may be classified as passive at all times, and seem to pose a challenge for the specification of the correct monetary-fiscal mix within recent optimizing macroeconomic models considered suitable for policy analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Favero & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Fiscal Policy Rules and Regime (In)Stability: Evidence from the U.S," Working Papers 282, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:282
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
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    7. Hess Chung & Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Switching," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 809-842, June.
    8. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2002. "Should the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve be concerned about fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 333-389.
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    11. Matthew Canzoneri & Behzad Diba, 1999. "The Stability and Growth Pact: A Delicate Balance or an Albatross?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 241-258, September.
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