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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
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  1. King, R.G. & Baxter, M., 1990. "Fiscal Policy In General Equilibrium," RCER Working Papers 244, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. John F. Cogan & Tobias Cwik & John B. Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2009. "New Keynesian versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers," NBER Working Papers 14782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Carceles-Poveda, Eva & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 6223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Ardagna, Silvia, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," Scholarly Articles 22801844, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Working Paper Series 0764, European Central Bank.
  11. 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.
  12. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2011. "Expectations, Learning, and Business Cycle Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2844-72, October.
  13. Heijdra, Ben J., 2009. "Foundations of Modern Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199210695, December.
  14. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 417, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  16. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "The output, employment, and interest rate effects of government consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 73-86, October.
  17. Maria Gabriella Briotti, 2005. "Economic reactions to public finance consolidation - a survey of the literature," Occasional Paper Series 38, European Central Bank.
  18. Eva Carceles-Poveda & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2007. "Online Appendix to Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," Technical Appendices carceles08, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  19. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  20. 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.
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  23. Michael Kumhof & Dirk V Muir & Carlos de Resende & Jan in ‘t Veld & René Lalonde & Davide Furceri & Annabelle Mourougane & John Roberts & Stephen Snudden & Mathias Trabandt & Günter Coenen & Susan, 2010. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," IMF Working Papers 10/73, International Monetary Fund.
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