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Fiscal Policy and Unemployment

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  • Marco Battaglini
  • Stephen Coate

Abstract

This paper explores the interaction between fiscal policy and unemployment. It develops a dynamic economic model in which unemployment can arise but can be mitigated by tax cuts and public spending increases. Such policies are fiscally costly, but can be financed by issuing government debt. In the context of this model, the paper analyzes the simultaneous determination of fiscal policy and unemployment in long run equilibrium. Outcomes with both a benevolent government and political decision-making are studied. With political decision-making, the model yields a simple positive theory of fiscal policy and unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2011. "Fiscal Policy and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 17562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17562 Note: EFG PE POL
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Filipe R. Campante & Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1006-1036, September.
    2. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2007. "Inefficiency in Legislative Policymaking: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 118-149, March.
    3. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
    4. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 201-236, March.
    5. Davide Furceri & Georgios Karras, 2011. "Average Tax Rate Cyclicality in OECD Countries: A Test of Three Fiscal Policy Theories," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 958-972, April.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl, 2011. "An Exploration of Optimal Stabilization Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 209-272.
    7. Barseghyan, Levon & Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2013. "Fiscal policy over the real business cycle: A positive theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2223-2265.
    8. Talvi, Ernesto & Vegh, Carlos A., 2005. "Tax base variability and procyclical fiscal policy in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 156-190, October.
    9. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
    10. 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.
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    12. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2009. "How strong is the macroeconomic case for downward real wage rigidity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 605-615, May.
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    15. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
    16. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 183-249.
    17. Ardagna, Silvia, 2007. "Fiscal Policy in Unionized Labor Markets," Scholarly Articles 2580048, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    18. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24, pages 35-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. repec:hrv:faseco:34729976 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
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    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
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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