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When is the government spending multiplier large?

  • Lawrence Christiano
  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Sergio Rebelo

We argue that the government-spending multiplier can be much larger than one when the zero lower bound on the nominal interest rate binds. The larger is the fraction of government spending that occurs while the nominal interest rate is zero, the larger is the value of the multiplier. After providing intuition for these results, we investigate the size of the multiplier in a dynamic, stochastic, general equilibrium model. In this model the multiplier effect is substantially larger than one when the zero bound binds. Our model is consistent with the behavior of key macro aggregates during the recent financial crisis.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15394.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15394.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Publication status: published as Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15394
Note: EFG
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  1. Janice Eberly & Sergio Rebelo & Nicolas Vincent, 2008. "Investment and Value: A Neoclassical Benchmark," Cahiers de recherche 08-03, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  2. R. Anton Braun & Yuichiro Waki, 2005. "Monetary Policy during Japan's Lost Decade," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-343, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  3. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 2011. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," IMF Working Papers 11/52, International Monetary Fund.
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