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Determinants of Fiscal Multipliers Revisited

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  • Horvath, Roman

    ()

  • Kaszab, Lorant

    ()

  • Marsal, Ales

    ()

  • Rabitsch, Katrin

    ()

Abstract

We generalize a simple New Keynesian model and show that a flattening of the Phillips curve reduces the size of fiscal multipliers at the zero lower bound (ZLB) on the nominal interest rate. The factors behind the flatting are consistent with micro- and macroeconomic empirical evidence: it is a result of, not a higher level of price rigidity, but an increase in the degree of strategic complementarity in price-setting - invoked by the assumption of a specific instead of an economy-wide labour market, and decreasing instead of constant-returns-to-scale. In normal times, the efficacy of fiscal policy and resulting multipliers tends to be small because negative wealth effects crowd out consumption, and because monetary policy endogenously reacts to fiscally-driven increases in inflation and output by raising rates, offsetting part of the stimulus. In times of a binding ZLB and a fixed nominal rate, an increase in (expected) inflation instead lowers the real rate, leading to larger fiscal multipliers. Conditional on being in a ZLB-environment, under a flatter Phillips curve, increases in expected inflation are lower, so that fiscal multipliers at the ZLB tend to be lower. Finally, we also discuss the role of solution methods in determining the size of fiscal multipliers.

Suggested Citation

  • Horvath, Roman & Kaszab, Lorant & Marsal, Ales & Rabitsch, Katrin, 2019. "Determinants of Fiscal Multipliers Revisited," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 7167, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wus005:7167
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Fiscal multipliers; strategic complementarity; Phillips curve; zero lower bound; New Keynesian model;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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