IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effect of Public Spending on Consumption : Reconciling Theory and Evidence


  • AMBLER, Steve
  • BOUAKEZ, Hafedh
  • CARDIA, Emanuela


Recent empirical evidence from vector autoregressions (VARs) suggests that public spending shocks increase (crowd in) private consumption. Standard general equilibrium models predict the opposite. We show that a standard real business cycle (RBC) model in which public spending is chosen optimally can rationalize the crowding-in effect documented in the VAR literature. When such a model is used as a data-generating process, a VAR estimated using the artificial data yields a positive consumption response to an increase in public spending, consistent with the empirical findings. This result holds regardless of whether private and public purchases are complements or substitutes.

Suggested Citation

  • AMBLER, Steve & BOUAKEZ, Hafedh & CARDIA, Emanuela, 2008. "The Effect of Public Spending on Consumption : Reconciling Theory and Evidence," Cahiers de recherche 16-2008, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:16-2008

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    Optimal public spending; Business cycles; Crowding in;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:16-2008. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sharon BREWER). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.