IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Has Fiscal Policy Helped Stabilize the Postwar U.S. Economy?

Listed author(s):
  • John Bailey Jones

In this paper, I consider whether postwar fiscal policy has helped stabilize the U.S. economy. I do this by adding fiscal policy feedback rules to the stochastic growth model. I estimate the feedback rules from postwar data with the generalized method of moments. These rules allow fiscal policies to respond to current and lagged output and labor hours. I use the estimated policy rules to see if postwar fiscal policy reduces output volatility and/or lengthens expansions and shortens recessions. I find that fiscal policy in general provides little stability on either count. I also find that the endogenous feedback rules, by themselves, are at best moderately stabilizing and are in some cases destabilizing.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.albany.edu/%7Ejbjones/fispol/Fispol.htm
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 99-03.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 1999
Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:99-03
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.

Phone: (518) 442-4735
Fax: (518) 442-4736

Order Information: Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
Web: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/index.shtml Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Richard W. Kopcke, 1993. "The determinants of business investment: has capital spending been surprisingly low?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 3-31.
  2. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-334, June.
  3. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
  4. Anton Braun, R., 1994. "Tax disturbances and real economic activity in the postwar United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 441-462, June.
  5. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 166-206, January.
  6. Diebold, Francis X & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1992. "Have Postwar Economic Fluctuations Been Stabilized?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 993-1005, September.
  7. Romer, Christina D, 1986. "Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 314-334, June.
  8. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-652, August.
  9. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims, 1994. "Toward a Modern Macroeconomic Model Usable for Policy Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 81-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1996. "Factor-Hoarding and the Propagation of Business-Cycle Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1154-1174, December.
  11. Ramey, Valerie A. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1998. "Costly capital reallocation and the effects of government spending," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 145-194, June.
  12. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1998. "Indeterminacy and Stabilization Policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 481-490, October.
  13. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 1999. "Assessing the effects of fiscal shocks," Working Paper Series WP-99-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. Ambler, Steve & Paquet, Alain, 1994. "Stochastic Depreciation and the Business Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 101-116, February.
  15. Farmer, Roger E. A. & Jang-Ting, Guo, 1995. "The econometrics of indeterminacy: an applied study," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 225-271, December.
  16. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  17. McGrattan, Ellen R & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1997. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 267-290, May.
  18. Holland, Allison & Scott, Andrew, 1998. "The Determinants of UK Business Cycles," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1067-1092, July.
  19. Otrok, Christopher, 2001. "On measuring the welfare cost of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-92, February.
  20. Ingram, Beth Fisher & Kocherlakota, Narayana R. & Savin, N. E., 1994. "Explaining business cycles: A multiple-shock approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 415-428, December.
  21. Broze, Laurence & Gouriéroux, Christian & Szafarz, Ariane, 1995. "Solutions of multivariate Rational Expectations Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 229-257, February.
  22. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 223-250, January.
  23. Watson, Mark W, 1994. "Business-Cycle Durations and Postwar Stabilization of the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 24-46, March.
  24. Boldin, Michael D, 1994. "Dating Turning Points in the Business Cycle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(1), pages 97-131, January.
  25. Christiano, Lawrence J. & G. Harrison, Sharon, 1999. "Chaos, sunspots and automatic stabilizers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 3-31, August.
  26. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  27. Farmer Roger E. A. & Guo Jang-Ting, 1994. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 42-72, June.
  28. Broze, L. & Gourieroux, C. & Szafarz, A., 1985. "Solutions of Linear Rational Expectations Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 341-368, December.
  29. Parkin, Michael, 1988. "A method for determining whether parameters in aggregative models are structural," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 215-252, January.
  30. Jang-Ting Guo & Kevin J. Lansing, 1994. "Tax structure, optimal fiscal policy, and the business cycle," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 2-14.
  31. Bencivenga, Valerie R, 1992. "An Econometric Study of Hours and Output Variation with Preference Shocks," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(2), pages 449-471, May.
  32. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
  33. Romer, Christina, 1986. "Spurious Volatility in Historical Unemployment Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 1-37, February.
  34. Chang, Ly-June, 1995. "Business cycles with distorting taxes and disaggregated capital markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 985-1009.
  35. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Balanced-Budget Rules, Distortionary Taxes, and Aggregate Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 976-1000, October.
  36. Greenwood, Jeremy & Huffman, Gregory W., 1991. "Tax analysis in a real-business-cycle model : On measuring Harberger triangles and Okun gaps," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 167-190, April.
  37. Ambler, Steve & Paquet, Alain, 1996. "Fiscal spending shocks, endogenous government spending, and real business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-3), pages 237-256.
  38. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
  39. Ohanian, Lee E, 1997. "The Macroeconomic Effects of War Finance in the United States: World War II and the Korean War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 23-40, March.
  40. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "Current Real-Business-Cycle Theories and Aggregate Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 430-450, June.
  41. Broze, Laurence & Gourieroux Christian & Szafarz A, 1984. "Solutions of dynamic linear rational expectations models," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8421, CEPREMAP.
  42. Goolsbee, Austan, 2004. "Taxes and the quality of capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 519-543, March.
  43. Cazzavillan, Guido, 1996. "Public Spending, Endogenous Growth, and Endogenous Fluctuations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 394-415, November.
  44. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(3), pages 381-399.
  45. Jonsson, Gunnar & Klein, Paul, 1996. "Stochastic fiscal policy and the Swedish business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 245-268, October.
  46. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-273, April.
  47. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
  48. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-1311, July.
  49. Finn, Mary G, 1998. "Cyclical Effects of Government's Employment and Goods Purchases," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 635-657, August.
  50. Reilly, Kevin T, 1994. "Annual Hours and Weeks in a Life-Cycle Labor Supply Model: Canadian Evidence on Male Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 460-477, July.
  51. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1991. "Productive externalities and business cycles," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 53, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  52. Joines, Douglas H, 1981. "Estimates of Effective Marginal Tax Rates on Factor Incomes," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 191-226, April.
  53. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:99-03. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John Bailey Jones)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.