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Fiscal Multipliers in Recessions

  • Matthew Canzoneri
  • Fabrice Collard
  • Harris Dellas
  • Behzad Diba

The Great Recession, and the fiscal response to it, has revived interest in the size of fiscal multipliers. Standard business cycle models have difficulties generating multipliers greater than one. And they also fail to produce any significant asymmetry in the size of the multipliers over the business cycle. In this paper we employ a variant of the Curdia-Woodford model of costly financial intermediation to show that fiscal multipliers are strongly countercyclical. In particular, they can take values exceeding two during recessions, declining to values below one during expansions.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp1204.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp1204
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  1. Riera-Crichton, Daniel & Vegh, Carlos A. & Vuletin, Guillermo, 2015. "Procyclical and countercyclical fiscal multipliers: Evidence from OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 15-31.
  2. Simon Gilchrist & Egon Zakrajsek, 2012. "Credit Spreads and Business Cycle Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1692-1720, June.
  3. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 183-249.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron & Scott, Andrew, 1997. "Asymmetric business cycles: Theory and time-series evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 501-533, December.
  7. Boucekkine, Raouf, 1995. "An alternative methodology for solving nonlinear forward-looking models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 711-734, May.
  8. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Sims, Eric R., 2012. "Confidence and the transmission of government spending shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 235-249.
  9. 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.
  10. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2008. "Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy," Working Paper Research 146, National Bank of Belgium.
  11. Oh, Hyunseung & Reis, Ricardo, 2012. "Targeted transfers and the fiscal response to the great recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages S50-S64.
  12. Vasco Curdia & Michael Woodford, 2008. "Credit Frictions and Optimal Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 0809-02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  13. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
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