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Government Consumption and Investment: Does the Composition of Purchases Affect the Multiplier?

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  • Christoph E. Boehm

    (University of Texas, Austin)

Abstract

I show that a large and conventional class of macroeconomic models predicts that short-lived government investment shocks have a much smaller fiscal multiplier than government consumption shocks. I test this prediction in a panel of OECD countries using real-time forecasts of government consumption and investment to purify changes in purchases of their predicted components. Consistent with theory, I estimate a government investment multiplier near zero and a government consumption multiplier of approximately 0.8. These findings suggest that fiscal stimulus packages which contain large government investment components may not be as effective at stimulating aggregate demand as commonly thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph E. Boehm, 2018. "Government Consumption and Investment: Does the Composition of Purchases Affect the Multiplier?," Working Papers 662, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:662
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    File URL: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers651-675/r662.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shafik Hebous & Tom Zimmermann, 2016. "Can Government Demand Stimulate Private Investment? Evidence from U.S. Federal Procurement," IMF Working Papers 16/60, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Valerie A. Ramey, 2019. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Infrastructure Investment," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Infrastructure Investment, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Shafik Hebous & Tom Zimmermann, 2019. "Can government demand stimulate private investment? Evidence from U.S. federal procurement," CESifo Working Paper Series 7534, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal multiplier; Durable goods; Investment; Government spending; Government investment; Government consumption;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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