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Did the Stimulus Stimulate? Real Time Estimates of the Effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

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  • James Feyrer
  • Bruce Sacerdote

Abstract

We use state and county level variation to examine the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on employment. A cross state analysis suggests that one additional job was created by each $170,000 in stimulus spending. Time series analysis at the state level suggests a smaller response with a per job cost of about $400,000. These results imply Keynesian multipliers between 0.5 and 1.0, somewhat lower than those assumed by the administration. However, the overall results mask considerable variation for different types of spending. Grants to states for education do not appear to have created any additional jobs. Support programs for low income households and infrastructure spending are found to be highly expansionary. Estimates excluding education spending suggest fiscal policy multipliers of about 2.0 with per job cost of under $100,000.

Suggested Citation

  • James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2011. "Did the Stimulus Stimulate? Real Time Estimates of the Effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," NBER Working Papers 16759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16759
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    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emma Hooper & Sanjay Peters & Patrick Pintus, 2018. "The Causal Effect of Infrastructure Investments on Income Inequality: Evidence from US States," Working Papers halshs-01684565, HAL.
    2. Aldy, Joseph E., 2014. "The Labor Market Impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Oil Drilling Moratorium," Discussion Papers dp-14-27, Resources For the Future.
    3. Gerald Carlino & Robert P. Inman, 2016. "Fiscal Stimulus in Economic Unions: What Role for States?," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 1-50.
    4. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Sims, Eric R., 2012. "Confidence and the transmission of government spending shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 235-249.
    5. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1155-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gerald Carlino & Robert P. Inman, 2013. "Macro Fiscal Policy in Economic Unions: States as Agents," NBER Working Papers 19559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sylvain Leduc & Daniel Wilson, 2013. "Roads to Prosperity or Bridges to Nowhere? Theory and Evidence on the Impact of Public Infrastructure Investment," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 89-142.
    8. Lee, Yu Na & Chau, Nancy & Just, David, 2014. "The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program for Farmers in the U.S.: Role of Incentives in Program Participation," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 176205, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Mohseni-Cheraghlou, Amin, 2016. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises: A Look on Human and Social Wellbeing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 88-106.
    10. Francesco Vona & G. Marin & D. Consoli, 2016. "Measures, Drivers and Effects of Green Employment : evidence from US local Labor Markets, 2006-2014," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2016-22, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    11. Erik Hurst & Benjamin J. Keys & Amit Seru & Joseph Vavra, 2016. "Regional Redistribution through the US Mortgage Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2982-3028, October.
    12. Michihito Ando, 2017. "How much should we trust regression-kink-design estimates?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 1287-1322, November.
    13. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Ansgar Rannenberg & Sven Schreiber, 2017. "Reassessing the Impact of the US Fiscal Stimulus: The Role of the Monetary Policy Stance," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 10(4), pages 12-31, April.
    14. Buchheim, Lukas & Watzinger, Martin, 2017. "The Employment Effects of Countercyclical Infrastructure Investments," Discussion Papers in Economics 34877, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    15. Mark Hoekstra & Steven L. Puller & Jeremy West, 2017. "Cash for Corollas: When Stimulus Reduces Spending," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 1-35, July.
    16. Sylvain Leduc, 2015. "Are State Governments Roadblocks to Federal Stimulus? Evidence from Highway Grants in the 2009 Recovery Act," 2015 Meeting Papers 1020, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2013. "Testing for Keynesian Labor Demand," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 311-349.
    18. Chris Boone & Arindrajit Dube & Ethan Kaplan, 2014. "The Political Economy of Discretionary Spending: Evidence from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 375-441.
    19. Wilhelm, Matthias & Buchheim, Lukas & Watzinger, Martin, 2016. "Investment in Photovoltaics and Job Creation: Evidence from a Billion Dollar Program," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145551, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. repec:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:253-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Klößner, Stefan & Pfeifer, Gregor, 2015. "Synthesizing Cash for Clunkers: Stabilizing the Car Market, Hurting the Environment," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113207, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    22. Sebastian Gechert & Ansgar Rannenberg, 2014. "Are Fiscal Multipliers Regime-Dependent? A Meta Regression Analysis," IMK Working Paper 139-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    23. Stephen A. Marglin, 2012. "Saving the Children—A Rant," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 283-292, July.
    24. Sylvain Leduc & Daniel Wilson, 2017. "Are State Governments Roadblocks to Federal Stimulus? Evidence on the Flypaper Effect of Highway Grants in the 2009 Recovery Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 253-292, May.

    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
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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