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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. John Cogan & Tobias Cwik & John Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2009. "New Keynesian Versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers," Discussion Papers 08-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Athanasios Orphanides amd John Williams, 2001. "Monetary Policy with Imperfect Knowledge," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 254, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Macroeconomics 0510022, EconWPA.
  5. Preston, Bruce, 2006. "Adaptive learning, forecast-based instrument rules and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 507-535, April.
  6. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 75-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Working Paper Series 2007-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Günter Coenen & Christopher J. Erceg & Charles Freedman & Davide Furceri & Michael Kumhof & René Lalonde & Douglas Laxton & Jesper Lindé & 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.
  9. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-34, June.
  10. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Marimon, Ramon, 2001. "Convergence In Monetary Inflation Models With Heterogeneous Learning Rules," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 1-31, February.
  11. 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.
  12. S. Rao Aiyagari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "The output, employment, and interest rate effects of government consumption," Working Papers 456, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Maria Gabriella Briotti, 2005. "Economic reactions to public finance consolidation - a survey of the literature," Occasional Paper Series 38, European Central Bank.
  14. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
  15. Giuseppe Bertola & Allan Drazen, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," NBER Working Papers 3844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. John Y. Campbell, 1992. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 4188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2011. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," NBER Working Papers 17444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  19. Heijdra, Ben J., 2009. "Foundations of Modern Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199210695, May.
  20. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy in Good Times and Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436.
  21. Carceles-Poveda, Eva & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 6223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Ardagna, Silvia, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," Scholarly Articles 22801844, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. Eva Carceles-Poveda & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2007. "Online Appendix to Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," Technical Appendices carceles08, Review of Economic Dynamics.
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