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The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending: It's All About Taxes

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  • Axelle Ferriere
  • Gaston Navarro

Abstract

Empirical work suggests that government spending generates large expansions of output and consumption. Most representative-agent models predict a moderate expansion of output, and a crowding-out of consumption. We reconcile these findings by taking into account the distribution of taxes. Using US data from 1913 to 2012, we provide evidence that government spending induces larger expansions in output and consumption when financed with more progressive taxes. We then develop a model with heterogeneous households and idiosyncratic risk, to show that a rise in government spending can be expansionary, both for output and consumption, only if financed with more progressive labor taxes. Key to our results is the model endogenous heterogeneity in households’ marginal propensities to consume and labor supply elasticities. In this respect, the distributional impact of fiscal policy is central to its aggregate effects.
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Suggested Citation

  • Axelle Ferriere & Gaston Navarro, 2013. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending: It's All About Taxes," Working Papers 13-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:13-18
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending: It’s All About Taxes
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2016-11-14 22:26:17

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kurt Mitman & Iourii Manovskii & Marcus Hagedorn, 2017. "The Fiscal Multiplier," 2017 Meeting Papers 1383, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal consolidation programs and income inequality," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp617, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    3. Thibault Lemaire, 2020. "Fiscal Consolidations and Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean," Post-Print halshs-02492309, HAL.
    4. Brinca, Pedro & Duarte, João B. & Holter, Hans A. & Oliveira, João G., 2019. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Taxation and Inequality in the U.S," MPRA Paper 91960, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gaston Navarro & Axelle Ferriere & Daniel Feenberg, 2017. "Evolution of Tax Progressivity in the U.S.: New Estimates and Welfare Implications," 2017 Meeting Papers 989, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Bilbiie, Florin Ovidiu, 2018. "Monetary Policy and Heterogeneity: An Analytical Framework," CEPR Discussion Papers 12601, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Heer, Burkhard & Scharrer, Christian, 2018. "The age-specific burdens of short-run fluctuations in government spending," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 45-75.
    8. Pfammatter, Andrea Corina, 2015. "Do differences in international labor mobility lead to differences in the fiscal multiplier? A theoretical approach," MPRA Paper 68955, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Brinca, Pedro & Holter, Hans A. & Krusell, Per & Malafry, Laurence, 2016. "Fiscal multipliers in the 21st century," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 53-69.
    10. Minjoon Lee & Jinhui Bai & Fudong Zhang & Ruediger Bachmann, 2014. "The Welfare Costs of Fiscal Uncertainty: a Quantitative Evaluation," 2014 Meeting Papers 744, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai & Minjoon Lee & Fudong Zhang, 2020. "The Welfare and Distributional Effects of Fiscal Volatility: a Quantitative Evaluation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, pages 127-153, October.
    12. Eunseong Ma, 2019. "The Heterogeneous Responses of Consumption between Poor and Rich to Government Spending Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(7), pages 1999-2028, October.
    13. De Dominicis, Piero, 2020. "Routinization and Covid-19: a comparison between United States and Portugal," MPRA Paper 101003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Thomas Philippon & Francisco Roldán, 2018. "On the Optimal Speed of Sovereign Deleveraging with Precautionary Savings," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(2), pages 375-413, June.
    15. Minchul Yum, 2018. "On the distribution of wealth and employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 86-105, October.
    16. Ercolani Valerio & Pavoni Nicola, 2019. "The Precautionary Saving Effect of Government Consumption," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(1), pages 1-32, January.
    17. Kopiec, Paweł, 2020. "Employment prospects and the propagation of fiscal stimulus," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    18. Ferrreira, Ana Melissa, 2019. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Inequality in the U.S," MPRA Paper 93914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Coelho, José, 2020. "Universal basic income and skill-biased technological change," MPRA Paper 99195, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Mar 2020.
    20. Guerreiro, Joao & Rebelo, Sérgio & Teles, Pedro, 2019. "What is the Optimal Immigration Policy? Migration, Jobs and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 13909, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Pedro Brinca & Hans Holter & Miguel Faria-e-Castro & Miguel Ferreira, 2019. "The Nonlinear Effects of Fiscal Policy," 2019 Meeting Papers 934, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Henrique S. Basso & Omar Rachedi, 2018. "The young, the old, and the government: demographics and fiscal multipliers," Working Papers 1837, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    23. Santos, Mariana, 2020. "The impact of labor income tax progressivity on the fiscal multipliers in the context of fiscal consolidation programs," MPRA Paper 98736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. Kopiec, Pawel, 2019. "Household Heterogeneity and the Value of Government Spending Multiplier: an Analytical Characterization," MPRA Paper 93499, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    25. Nóbrega, Valter, 2020. "Optimal Taxation and Investment-Specific Technological Change," MPRA Paper 98917, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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