IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed014/717.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Uncertainty and Fiscal Cliffs

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Foerster

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

  • Troy Davig

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

Abstract

Fiscal uncertainty arises in many forms. Expiring temporary stimulus measures, projections of rapid debt growth, and oscillating political concerns over general levels of taxation are examples that all contribute to fiscal uncertainty. Motivated by anecdotal evidence associated with the US Fiscal-Cliff episode near the end of 2012, we empirically investigate the impact of economic policy uncertainty on investment and employment, especially with regard to the type of investment project. Increases in policy uncertainty lower investment and employment, with some investment dropping immediately and some more gradually, depending upon the ease of installation of types of capital. Based upon this empirical evidence, we then present a DSGE model of expiring tax provisions, and show that the model generates responses to fiscal uncertainty that match key features of the data. The framework captures a few unique elements of fiscal uncertainty. First, fiscal uncertainty is over the average tax rate, rather than a mean-preserving shock to the future tax rate. Second, households obtain information that tax rates may change at a particular date in the future, though whether tax rates do ultimately change is uncertain. As a result, information indicating that a policy change may occur in the future immediately sets in motion partial adjustments toward the new policy. The degree of adjustment households undertake depends on the probability attached to the outcome that actually does result in a change in fiscal policy. Unsuccessful reforms inject noise into the economy and lower the steady state level of the capital stock and output.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Foerster & Troy Davig, 2014. "Uncertainty and Fiscal Cliffs," 2014 Meeting Papers 717, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:717
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hollmayr, Josef & Matthes, Christian, 2015. "Learning about fiscal policy and the effects of policy uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 142-162.
    2. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M., 2011. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and fiscal stimulus," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 211-227, February.
    3. Davig, Troy, 2004. "Regime-switching debt and taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 837-859, May.
    4. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2017. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 937-958, May.
    5. repec:wly:emetrp:v:86:y:2018:i:3:p:1031-1065 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Andrew Foerster & Juan F. Rubio‐Ramírez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2016. "Perturbation methods for Markov‐switching dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), pages 637-669, July.
    7. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    8. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
    9. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2011. "Minimal state variable solutions to Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2150-2166.
    10. Ellen R. McGrattan, 2012. "Capital Taxation During the U.S. Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1515-1550.
    11. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta†Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2018. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(3), pages 1031-1065, May.
    12. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-46.
    13. Hess Chung & Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Switching," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 809-842, June.
    14. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 607-635, June.
    15. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Can News about the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1097-1118, September.
    16. 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.
    17. Francesco Bianchi, 2012. "Evolving Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 167-172, May.
    18. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2014. "Risk Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 27-65, January.
    19. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
    20. Christopher L. House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Temporary Investment Tax Incentives: Theory with Evidence from Bonus Depreciation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 737-768, June.
    21. Born, Benjamin & Peter, Alexandra & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2013. "Fiscal news and macroeconomic volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2582-2601.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Shoag, Daniel & Veuger, Stan, 2016. "Uncertainty and the geography of the great recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 84-93.
    2. Murray, James, 2014. "Fiscal Policy Uncertainty and Its Macroeconomic Consequences," MPRA Paper 57409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:finmar:v:39:y:2018:i:c:p:111-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
    6. Richter, Alexander W., 2015. "Finite lifetimes, long-term debt and the fiscal limit," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 180-203.
    7. Bi, Huixin & Shen, Wenyi & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2016. "Debt-dependent effects of fiscal expansions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 142-157.
    8. Foerster, Andrew T., 2014. "The asymmetric effects of uncertainty," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-26.
    9. Frank N. Caliendo & Aspen Gorry & Sita Slavov, 2015. "The Cost of Uncertainty about the Timing of Social Security Reform," NBER Working Papers 21585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed014:717. 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: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.