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Explaining the Effects of Government Spending Shocks on Consumption and the Real Exchange Rate

  • Morten O. Ravn
  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé
  • Martín Uribe

Using panel structural VAR analysis and quarterly data from four industrialized countries, we document that an increase in government purchases leads to an expansion in output and private consumption, a deterioration in the trade balance, and a depreciation of the real exchange rate (i.e., a decrease in the domestic CPI relative to the exchange-rate adjusted foreign CPI). We propose an explanation for these observed effects based on the deep habit mechanism. We estimate the key parameters of the deep-habit model employing a limited information approach. The predictions of the estimated deep-habit model fit well the observed responses of output, consumption, the trade balance, and the real exchange rate to an unanticipated government spending shock. In addition, the deep-habit model predicts that in response to an anticipated increase in government spending consumption and wages fail to increase on impact, which is consistent with the empirical evidence stemming from the narrative identification approach. In this way, the deep-habit model reconciles the findings of the SVAR and narrative literatures on the effects of government spending shocks.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13328.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics Volume 59, Issue 3, April 2012, Pages 215–234
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13328
Note: EFG IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2004. "Fiscal policy in the aftermath of 9/11," Working Paper Series WP-04-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Ramey, Valerie A. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1998. "Costly capital reallocation and the effects of government spending," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 145-194, June.
  5. Morten O. Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2004. "Deep Habits," 2004 Meeting Papers 208, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2003. "Fiscal Shocks and Their Consequences," NBER Working Papers 9772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Giancarlo Corsetti & Gernot J. Müller, 2006. "Twin deficits: squaring theory, evidence and common sense," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(48), pages 597-638, October.
  9. Linnemann, Ludger, 2006. "The Effect of Government Spending on Private Consumption: A Puzzle?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1715-1735, October.
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