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Signals from the Government: Policy Uncertainty and the Transmission of Fiscal Shocks

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  • Ricco, Giovanni
  • Callegari, Giovanni
  • Cimadomo, Jacopo

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the influence of fiscal policy uncertainty in the propagation of government spending shocks in the US economy. We propose a new index to measure fiscal policy uncertainty which relies on the dispersion of government spending forecasts as presented in the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). This new index is solely focused on the uncertainty surrounding federal spending and is immune from the influence of general macroeconomic uncertainty by as much as is possible. Our results indicate that, in times of elevated fiscal policy uncertainty, the output response to policy announcements about future government spending growth is muted. Instead, periods of low policy uncertainty are characterised by a positive and persistent output response to fiscal announcements. Our analysis also shows that the stronger effects of fiscal policy in less uncertain times is mainly the result of agents’ tendency to increase investment decisions in these periods, in line with the prediction of the option value theory in Bernanke (1983).

Suggested Citation

  • Ricco, Giovanni & Callegari, Giovanni & Cimadomo, Jacopo, 2014. "Signals from the Government: Policy Uncertainty and the Transmission of Fiscal Shocks," MPRA Paper 56136, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56136
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    1. Silvia Delrio, 2016. "Estimating the effects of global uncertainty in open economies," Working Papers 2016:19, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    2. Dennis Wesselbaum, 2019. "Expectation shocks and fiscal rules," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 357-377, April.
    3. Ricco, Giovanni, 2015. "A new identification of fiscal shocks based on the information flow," Working Paper Series 1813, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy uncertainty; Government spending shock; Fiscal transmission mechanism.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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