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Does Fiscal Policy Matter? Blinder and Solow Revisited


  • Roger E.A. Farmer
  • Dmitry Plotnikov


This paper uses the old-Keynesian representative agent model developed in Farmer (2010b) to answer two questions: 1) do increased government purchases crowd out private consumption? 2) do increased government purchases reduce unemployment? Farmer compared permanent tax financed expenditure paths and showed that the answer to 1) was yes and the answer to 2) was no. We generalize his result to temporary bond-financed paths of government purchases that are similar to the actual path that occurred during WWII. We find that a temporary increase in government purchases does crowd out private consumption expenditure as in Farmer (2010b). However, in contrast to Farmer's experiment we find that a temporary increase in government purchases can also reduce unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger E.A. Farmer & Dmitry Plotnikov, 2010. "Does Fiscal Policy Matter? Blinder and Solow Revisited," NBER Working Papers 16644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16644
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Farmer, Roger E A, 2010. "Animal Spirits, Persistent Unemployment and the Belief Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 8100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Roger E. A. Farmer, 2008. "Aggregate demand and supply," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 4(1), pages 77-93.
    4. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, January.
    5. Ohanian, Lee E., 2009. "What - or who - started the great depression?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2310-2335, November.
    6. Harrison, Sharon G. & Weder, Mark, 2006. "Did sunspot forces cause the Great Depression?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1327-1339, October.
    7. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Farmer, Roger E.A., 2016. "The Evolution Of Endogenous Business Cycles," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(02), pages 544-557, March.
    2. Roger E.A. Farmer & Carine Nourry & Alain Venditti, 2012. "The Inefficient Markets Hypothesis: Why Financial Markets Do Not Work Well in the Real World," NBER Working Papers 18647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Roger E. A. Farmer, 2012. "Confidence, Crashes and Animal Spirits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 155-172, March.
    4. repec:bla:sajeco:v:85:y:2017:i:1:p:68-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Riccardo Magnani, 2015. "The Solow Growth Model Revisited. Introducing Keynesian Involuntary Unemployment," CEPN Working Papers hal-01203393, HAL.
    6. Farmer, Roger E A, 2011. "Animal Spirits, Financial Crises and Persistent Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8439, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Viktar Fedaseyeu & Vitaliy Strohush, 2012. "Loans from the Government, Overinvestment by Households, and Asset Bubbles," Working Papers 443, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    8. Farmer, Roger E.A., 2012. "The stock market crash of 2008 caused the Great Recession: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 693-707.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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