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Fiscal Multipliers


  • Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo
  • Mr. Steven A. Symansky
  • Mr. Martin Schindler


This paper provides background information for policymakers on fiscal multipliers, including quantitative estimates. The fiscal multiplier is the ratio of a change in output to an exogenous change in the fiscal deficit with respect to their respective baselines. The size of the multiplier is larger if: leakages are few; the monetary conditions are accommodative; and the country’s fiscal position after the stimulus is sustainable. Fiscal expansions can be contractionary if they decrease consumers’ and investors’ confidence, especially if the fiscal expansion raises, or reinforces, fiscal sustainability concerns. Fiscal multipliers have been calculated for some countries but should be carefully re-examined considering the current events. The degree of financial market development has an ambiguous effect on multipliers, depending on how the degree of financial development affects liquidity constraints, and the government’s ability to finance the fiscal deficit. The past research on multiplier estimates can provide guidance in developing multiplier estimates, but judgment, based on current conditions, is important.

Suggested Citation

  • Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo & Mr. Steven A. Symansky & Mr. Martin Schindler, 2009. "Fiscal Multipliers," IMF Staff Position Notes 2009/011, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfspn:2009/011

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    Cited by:

    1. Mr. Lev Ratnovski & Sophia Chen & Pi-Han Tsai, 2017. "Credit and Fiscal Multipliers in China," IMF Working Papers 2017/273, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Mark Weisbrot & Juan Antonio Montecino, 2010. "Alternatives to Fiscal Austerity in Spain," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-18, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    3. Techert, Holger & Demary, Markus, 2012. "Kombinierte Konjunktur- und Klimapolitik: Chance für die deutsche Umweltindustrie?," IW-Analysen, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) / German Economic Institute, volume 75, number 75, June.
    4. Olivier J Blanchard & Daniel Leigh, 2014. "Learning about Fiscal Multipliers from Growth Forecast Errors," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 62(2), pages 179-212, June.


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