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Fiscal Policy and Learning

  • Kaushik Mitra
  • George W. Evans
  • Seppo Honkapohja

Using the standard real business cycle model with lump-sum taxes, we analyze the impact of fiscal policy when agents form expectations using adaptive learning rather than rational expectations (RE). The output multipliers for government purchases are significantly higher under learning, and fall within empirical bounds reported in the literature (in sharp contrast to the implausibly low values under RE). Effectiveness of fiscal policy is demonstrated during times of economic stress like the recent Great Recession. Finally it is shown how learning can lead to dynamics empirically documented during episodes of "fiscal consolidations."

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File URL: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/economics/repecfiles/2/1202.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 201202.

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Date of creation: 17 Jan 2012
Date of revision: 18 Jun 2013
Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:1202
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
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Fax: 01334 462444
Web page: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/cdma
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  1. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of two Small Euopean Countries," Working Papers 89, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  2. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  3. Maria Gabriella Briotti, 2005. "Economic reactions to public finance consolidation - a survey of the literature," Occasional Paper Series 38, European Central Bank.
  4. Heijdra, Ben J., 2009. "Foundations of Modern Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199210695.
  5. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2008. "Expectations, Learning And Business Cycle Fluctuations," CAMA Working Papers 2008-20, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  6. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 467, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Bertola, Giuseppe & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," CEPR Discussion Papers 599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Eva Carceles Poveda & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2006. "Asset pricing with adaptive learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 25, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2010. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 281-295, March.
  10. Campbell, John Y., 1994. "Inspecting the mechanism: An analytical approach to the stochastic growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 463-506, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2015. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," Caepr Working Papers 2015-013 Classification-C, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  13. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
  14. S. Rao Aiyagari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "The output, employment, and interest rate effects of government consumption," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 25, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Working Paper Series 2007-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  16. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Marimon, Ramon, 1996. "Convergence in Monetary Inflation Models with Heterogeneous Learning Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 1310, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Eva Carceles-Poveda & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2007. "Online Appendix to Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," Technical Appendices carceles08, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  18. King, R.G. & Baxter, M., 1990. "Fiscal Policy In General Equilibrium," RCER Working Papers 244, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  19. Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2004. "Supply-side reforms and learning dynamics," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 36, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  20. Preston, Bruce, 2006. "Adaptive learning, forecast-based instrument rules and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 507-535, April.
  21. G�nter Coenen & Christopher J. Erceg & Charles Freedman & Davide Furceri & Michael Kumhof & Ren� Lalonde & Douglas Laxton & Jesper Lind� & Annabelle Mourougane & Dirk Muir & Susanna Mursula & Carlos d, 2012. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 22-68, January.
  22. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2007. "Central Bank Communication and Expectations Stabilization," Discussion Papers 0708-10, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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