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Government Investment and Fiscal Stimulus in the Short and Long Runs


  • Eric M. Leeper
  • Todd B. Walker
  • Shu-Chun Susan Yang


This paper contributes to the debate about fiscal multipliers by studying the impacts of government investment in conventional neoclassical growth models. The analysis focuses on two dimensions of fiscal policy that are critical for understanding the effects of government investment: implementation delays associated with building public capital projects and expected future fiscal adjustments to debt-financed spending. Implementation delays can produce small or even negative labor and output responses in the short run; anticipated fiscal financing adjustments matter both quantitatively and qualitatively for long-run growth effects. Taken together, these two dimensions have important implications for the short-run and long-run impacts of fiscal stimulus in the form of higher government infrastructure investment. The analysis is conducted in several models with features relevant for studying government spending, including utility-yielding government consumption, time-to-build for private investment, and government production.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2009. "Government Investment and Fiscal Stimulus in the Short and Long Runs," NBER Working Papers 15153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15153
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Takashi Kano & James M. Nason, 2014. "Business Cycle Implications of Internal Consumption Habit for New Keynesian Models," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(2-3), pages 519-544, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2010. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 281-295, March.
    2. Sohrab Rafiq, 2013. "The Growth and Stabilization Properties of Fiscal Policy in Malaysia," IMF Working Papers 13/149, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Gunter Coenen & Roland Straub & Mathias Trabandt, 2012. "Fiscal Policy and the Great Recession in the Euro Area," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 71-76, May.
    4. Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2009. "Commentary: activist fiscal policy to stabilize economic activity," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 387-397.
    5. Thorsten Drautzburg & Harald Uhlig, 2015. "Fiscal Stimulus and Distortionary Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 894-920, October.
    6. Tobias Cwik & Volker Wieland, 2011. "Keynesian government spending multipliers and spillovers in the euro area," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(67), pages 493-549, July.
    7. Baldi, Guido, 2013. "How do Different Government Spending Categories Impact on Private Consumption and the Real Exchange Rate?," MPRA Paper 48600, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Ioannis Praggidis & Periklis Gogas & Vasilios Plakandaras & Theophilos Papadimitriou, 2013. "Fiscal shocks and asymmetric effects: a comparative analysis," Papers 1312.2693,
    9. repec:nbr:nberch:13342 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Leeper, Eric M. & Walker, Todd B. & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2010. "Government investment and fiscal stimulus," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 1000-1012, November.
    11. Markus Kirchner & Jacopo Cimadomo & Sebastian Hauptmeier, 2010. "Transmission of Government Spending Shocks in the Euro Area: Time Variation and Driving Forces," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-021/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Michael Kumhof & Huixin Bi, 2009. "Jointly Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy Rules under Borrowing Constraints," IMF Working Papers 09/286, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Gogas, Periklis & Pragidis, Ioannis, 2013. "Asymmetric Fiscal Policy Shocks," MPRA Paper 46680, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Paweł Borys & Piotr Ciżkowicz & Andrzej Rzońca, 2014. "Panel Data Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks in the EU New Member States," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 35, pages 189-224, June.
    15. Coenen, Günter & Straub, Roland & Trabandt, Mathias, 2013. "Gauging the effects of fiscal stimulus packages in the euro area," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 367-386.
    16. Eric M. Leeper, 2009. "Anchoring fiscal expectations," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 72, pages 17-42, September.
    17. Totzek, Alexander & Winkler, Roland C., 2010. "Fiscal stimulus in model with endogenous firm entry," MPRA Paper 26829, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2010.
    18. Aart Kraay, 2012. "How large is the Government Spending Multiplier? Evidence from World Bank Lending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 829-887.
    19. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
    20. Alan J. Auerbach & William G. Gale, 2009. "Activist fiscal policy to stabilize economic activity," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 327-374.
    21. Bi, Huixin & Kumhof, Michael, 2011. "Jointly optimal monetary and fiscal policy rules under liquidity constraints," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 373-389, September.
    22. Felix Reichling & Charles Whalen, 2012. "Assessing the Short-Term Effects on Output of Changes in Federal Fiscal Policies: Working Paper 2012-08," Working Papers 43278, Congressional Budget Office.
    23. Julien Albertini & Arthur Poirier, 2014. "Unemployment benefits extensions at the zero lower bound on nominal interest rate," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-019, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures

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