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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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," CeBER Working Papers 2017-11, Centre for Business and Economics Research (CeBER), University of Coimbra.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:eee:dyncon:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:45-75 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:pal:imfecr:v:66:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1057_s41308-018-0054-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Ferrreira, Ana Melissa, 2019. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Inequality in the U.S," MPRA Paper 93914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Paweł Kopiec, 2018. "Employment prospects and the propagation of fiscal stimulus," NBP Working Papers 296, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    13. Pedro Brinca & Hans A. Holter & Per Krusell & Laurence Malafry, 2015. "Fiscal Multipliers in the 21st Century," LWS Working papers 21, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    14. Kopiec, Pawel, 2019. "Household Heterogeneity and the Value of Government Spending Multiplier: an Analytical Characterization," MPRA Paper 93499, 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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