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Public Consumption Over the Business Cycle

  • Ruediger Bachmann

    (University of Michigan)

This paper characterizes quantitatively the business cycle dynamics of public consumption in a neoclassical representative household model with endogenous and time-consistent public policy. We show that a simple frictionless version of such a model with productivity as the only aggregate driving force fails to match important features of the business cycle dynamics of U.S. public consumption. It is not persistent enough and too synchronized with the cycle. We add implementation lags and costs in the budgeting process as frictions plus taste shocks for public consumption relative to private consumption, and achieve a substantially better match to the data. All these ingredients are necessary to improve the fit.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 701.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:701
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Dean Corbae, 2007. "Politico-Economic Consequences of Rising Wage Inequality," 2007 Meeting Papers 129, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Song, Zheng Michael & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Rotten Parents and Disciplined Children: A Politico-Economic Theory of Public Expenditure and Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 8738, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Business cycle accounting," Working Papers 625, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Per Krusell & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 1997. "On the size of U.S. government: political economy in the neoclassical growth model," Staff Report 234, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2006. "Comparing alternative representations and alternative methodologies in business cycle accounting," Working Papers 647, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Roger Lagunoff & Jinhui Bai, 2008. "On the ``Faustian Dynamics" of Policy and Political Power," 2008 Meeting Papers 456, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
  8. Eric M. Leeper & Michael Plante & Nora Traum, 2009. "Dynamics of Fiscal Financing in the United States," NBER Working Papers 15160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Debortoli, Davide & Nunes, Ricardo, 2010. "Fiscal policy under loose commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1005-1032, May.
  10. Marina Azzimonti, 2011. "Barriers to Investment in Polarized Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2182-2204, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Marco Battaglini, 2009. "On the Case for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," 2009 Meeting Papers 131, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 201-36, March.
  14. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2008. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 14551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
  16. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  17. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
  18. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
  19. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-34, June.
  20. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai, 2013. "Politico-Economic Inequality and the Comovement of Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 565-580, October.
  21. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
  22. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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