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What Drives Fiscal Multipliers? The Role of Private Wealth and Debt


  • Sebastian Gechert
  • Rafael Mentges


We show that fiscal multiplier estimations may be biased by movements in asset and credit markets, as they facilitate spurious correlations of changes in cyclically adjusted revenues and spending with GDP growth via wrong identifications and an omitted variable bias, thus overstating episodes of expansionary consolidations and downplaying contractionary consolidations. When controlling for asset and credit market movements in otherwise standard approaches to identification, we find multipliers to increase on average by 0.3 to 0.6 units. Consolidations are thus more likely to be contractionary and more harmful to growth than expected by some strands of the existing literature.

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  • Sebastian Gechert & Rafael Mentges, 2013. "What Drives Fiscal Multipliers? The Role of Private Wealth and Debt," IMK Working Paper 124-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:imk:wpaper:124-2013

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    Cited by:

    1. Gustav A. Horn & Sebastian Gechert & Katja Rietzler & Kai D. Schmid, 2014. "Streitfall Fiskalpolitik," IMK Report 92-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Dean Baker & David Rosnick, 2014. "Stimulus and Fiscal Consolidation: The Evidence and Implications," IMK Working Paper 135-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    3. W. Qazizada & E. Stockhammer, 2015. "Government spending multipliers in contraction and expansion," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-258, March.
    4. Gustav A. Horn & Alexander Herzog-Stein & Ansgar Rannenberg & Katja Rietzler & Silke Tober & Rudolf Zwiener, 2014. "Wirtschaftspolitische Herausforderungen 2014," IMK Report 90-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

    More about this item


    multiplier effects; fiscal policy; asset markets; credit markets;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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