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Means-Tested Subsidies and Economic Performance Since 2007

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  • Casey B. Mulligan

Abstract

The aggregate neoclassical growth model - with means-tested subsidies whose replacement rates began rising at the end of 2007 as its only impulse - produces time series for aggregate labor usage, consumption, investment, and real GDP that closely resemble actual U.S. time series. Despite having no explicit financial market, the model has investment fall steeply during the recession not because of any distortions with the supply of capital, but merely because labor is falling and labor is complementary with capital in the production function. Through the lens of the model, the fact that real consumption fell significantly below trend during 2008 suggests that labor usage per capita is expected to remain well below pre-recession levels for several years.

Suggested Citation

  • Casey B. Mulligan, 2011. "Means-Tested Subsidies and Economic Performance Since 2007," NBER Working Papers 17445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17445
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice B. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, "undated". "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    2. Elsa V. Artadi & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "The Economic Tragedy of the XXth Century: Growth in Africa," NBER Working Papers 9865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Casey Mulligan, 2009. "What Caused the Recession of 2008? Hints from Labor Productivity," NBER Working Papers 14729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert Shimer, 2010. "Labor Markets and Business Cycles," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9217.
    6. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin, 2010. "The Labor Market in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 1-69.
    7. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Urban Jermann & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2012. "Macroeconomic Effects of Financial Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 238-271, February.
    9. Casey Mulligan, 2004. "What Do Aggregate Consumption Euler Equations Say About the Capital-Income Tax Burden?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 166-170, May.
    10. Plumper, Thomas & Martin, Christian W, 2003. "Democracy, Government Spending, and Economic Growth: A Political-Economic Explanation of the Barro-Effect," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 27-50, October.
    11. Casey B. Mulligan, 2009. "Means-Tested Mortgage Modification: Homes Saved or Income Destroyed?," NBER Working Papers 15281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice C. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, 1996. "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 753-777.
    13. Song Han & Wenli Li, 2007. "Fresh Start or Head Start? The Effects of Filing for Personal Bankruptcy on Work Effort," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 123-152, June.
    14. Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Determinants of Economic Growth in a Panel of Countries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 4(2), pages 231-274, November.
    15. Xavier Sala-i-Martín & Elsa V. Artadi, 2003. "Economic growth and investment in the Arab world," Economics Working Papers 683, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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    Cited by:

    1. Casey B. Mulligan, 2012. "Do Welfare Policies Matter for Labor Market Aggregates? Quantifying Safety Net Work Incentives since 2007," NBER Working Papers 18088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Casey B. Mulligan, 2011. "The Expanding Social Safety Net," NBER Working Papers 17654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2012. "Foreclosure delay and U.S. unemployment," Working Papers 2012-017, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Casey B. Mulligan, 2011. "Rising Labor Productivity during the 2008-9 Recession," NBER Working Papers 17584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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