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Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion

  • Alan J. Auerbach
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko

In this paper, we estimate government purchase multipliers for a large number of OECD countries, allowing these multipliers to vary smoothly according to the state of the economy and using real-time forecast data to purge policy innovations of their predictable components. We adapt our previous methodology (Auerbach and Gorodnichenko, 2011) to use direct projections rather than the SVAR approach to estimate multipliers, to economize on degrees of freedom and to relax the assumptions on impulse response functions imposed by the SVAR method. Our findings confirm those of our earlier paper. In particular, GDP multipliers of government purchases are larger in recession, and controlling for real-time predictions of government purchases tends to increase the estimated multipliers of government purchases in recession. We also consider the responses of other key macroeconomic variables and find that these responses generally vary over the cycle as well, in a pattern consistent with the varying impact on GDP.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17447.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion , Alan J. Auerbach, Yuriy Gorodnichenko. in Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis , Alesina and Giavazzi. 2013
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17447
Note: EFG PE
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  1. 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.
  2. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  3. Robert J. Gordon & Robert Krenn, 2010. "The End of the Great Depression 1939-41: Policy Contributions and Fiscal Multipliers," NBER Working Papers 16380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 2011. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," IMF Working Papers 11/52, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Eric Sims & Ruediger Bachmann, 2011. "Confidence and the Transmission of Government Spending Shocks," 2011 Meeting Papers 83, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "The Finnish Great Depression: From Russia with Love," NBER Working Papers 14874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Oscar Jorda, 2007. "Inference for Impulse Responses," Working Papers 77, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. Daniel J. Wilson, 2010. "Fiscal spending multipliers: evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Working Paper Series 2010-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Òscar Jordà, 2005. "Estimation and Inference of Impulse Responses by Local Projections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 161-182, March.
  11. Lukas Vogel, 2007. "How do the OECD Growth Projections for the G7 Economies Perform?: A Post-Mortem," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 573, OECD Publishing.
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