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Fiscal Policy Can Reduce Unemployment: But There is a Less Costly and More Effective Alternative

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  • Roger E. A. Farmer

Abstract

This paper uses a model with a continuum of equilibrium steady state unemployment rates to explore the effectiveness of fiscal policy. The existence of multiple steady state equilibria is explained by the presence of search and recruiting costs. I use the model to explain the current financial crisis as a shift to a high unemployment equilibrium, induced by the self-fulfilling beliefs of market participants about asset prices. I ask two questions. 1) Can fiscal policy help us out of the crisis? 2) Is there an alternative to fiscal policy that is less costly and more effective? The answer to both questions is yes.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger E. A. Farmer, 2009. "Fiscal Policy Can Reduce Unemployment: But There is a Less Costly and More Effective Alternative," NBER Working Papers 15021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
    3. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    4. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    5. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
    6. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    7. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    8. Jean-Pascal Benassy, 1975. "Neo-Keynesian Disequilibrium Theory in a Monetary Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 503-523.
    9. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-334, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Piero Ferri, 2011. "Macroeconomics of Growth Cycles and Financial Instability," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14260.
    2. Salvatore Dell'Erba & Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro & Ksenia Koloskova, 2014. "Medium-Term Fiscal Multipliers during Protracted Recessions," IMF Working Papers 14/213, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Ulrich van Suntum, "undated". "Economic Confidence, Negative Interest Rates, and Liquidity: Towards Keynesianism 2.0," Working Papers 200108, Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary.
    4. van Suntum, Ulrich, 2009. "Economic confidence, negative interest rates, and liquidity: Towards Keynesianism 2.0," CAWM Discussion Papers 24, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).
    5. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:56:y:2011:i:03:n:s0217590811004353 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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