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The Household Effects of Government Spending

  • Giavazzi, Francesco

    (Universita Bocconi, MIT, CEPR & NBER)

  • McMahon, Michael

    (University of Warwick, CEP (LSE) & CAMA (ANU))

This paper provides new evidence on the effects of scal policy by studying, using household-level data, how households respond to shifts in government spending. Our identi cation strategy allows us to control for time-specific aggregate effects, such as the stance of monetary policy or the U.S.-wide business cycle. However, it potentially prevents us from estimating the wealth e ects associated with a shift in spending. We find significant heterogeneity in households' response to a spending shock ; the effects appear vary over time depending, among other factors, on the state of business cycle and, at a lower frequency, on the composition of employment (such as the share of workers in part-time jobs). Shifts in spending could also have important distributional effects that are lost when estimating an aggregate multiplier. Heads of households working relatively few (weekly) hours, for instance, suffer from a spending shock of the type we analyzed : their consumption falls, their hours increase and their real wages fall. Key words: Fiscal Policy ; PSID ; Household Consumption ; Labor Supply JEL classification: E62 ; E21 ; E24 ; D12

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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 977.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:977
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  1. Marco Del Negro, 1999. "Asymmetric shocks among U.S. states," Working Papers 9903, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  2. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2011. "Fiscal Stimulus in a Monetary Union: Evidence from U.S. Regions," NBER Working Papers 17391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Francesco Giavazzi & Michael McMahon, 2008. "Policy Uncertainty and Precautionary Savings," NBER Working Papers 13911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Industry Evidence on the Effects of Government Spending," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 36-59, January.
  6. Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 2003. "The Representative Consumer in the Neoclassical Growth Model with Idiosyncratic Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 368-380, April.
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  8. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2003. "Fiscal Shocks and Their Consequences," NBER Working Papers 9772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  10. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Constantinides, George M, 1982. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and without Demand Aggregation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 253-67, April.
  12. Valerio Ercolani, 2010. "The Precautionary Effect of Government Expenditures on Private Consumption," 2010 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
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