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Does anticipation of government spending matter? Evidence from an expectation augmented VAR

  • Tenhofen, Jörn
  • Wolff, Guntram B.

How does private consumption react to an exogenous increase in government expenditure? Standard structural vector autoregressions (SVARs) usually report a positive GDP as well as consumption response, while event studies report a negative consumption response. We investigate in a SVAR whether anticipation of the fiscal shock reverses the sign of this dynamic response to a negative one. As a methodological contribution, we model expectation formation within a SVAR framework. We show for the US that consumption falls in reaction to an expenditure shock once the model allows for one-period-ahead anticipation of this shock. Modelling anticipation of fiscal shocks is thus crucial to correctly capture their macroeconomic effects. Differences in results between event studies and VARs can be explained by missing anticipation in VARs. When re-estimating the two models (with and without anticipation) for non-defense related expenditures, we find a positive consumption response for both models. The implications of our results for macroeconomic theory are briefly discussed.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2007,14.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:5866
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  1. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 166-206, January.
  2. Raffaela Giordano & Sandro Momigliano & Stefano Neri & Roberto Perotti, 2008. "The effetcs of fiscal policy in Italy: Evidence from a VAR model," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 656, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Olivier Biau & Élie Girard, 2005. "Politique budgétaire et dynamique économique en France. L'approche var structurel," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(3), pages 755-764.
  5. Mountford, A.W. & Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 2002. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," Discussion Paper 2002-31, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Ellen R. M cG rattan & Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "Does Neoclassical Theory Account For The Effects Of Big Fiscal Shocks? Evidence From World War Ii," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 509-532, 05.
  7. Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Galí, Jordi & López-Salido, David & Vallés, Javier, 2004. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Working Paper Series 0339, European Central Bank.
  10. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  11. Jörn Tenhofen & Guntram B. Wolff & Kirsten H. Heppke-Falk, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Exogenous Fiscal Policy Shocks in Germany: A Disaggregated SVAR Analysis," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 230(3), pages 328-355, June.
  12. Christina D. Romer and David H. Romer., 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," Economics Working Papers 89-107, University of California at Berkeley.
  13. King, R.G. & Baxter, M., 1990. "Fiscal Policy In General Equilibrium," RCER Working Papers 244, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2003. " Fiscal Policy in the New Neoclassical Synthesis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 911-29, December.
  15. Ramey, Valerie A. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1998. "Costly capital reallocation and the effects of government spending," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 145-194, June.
  16. Chang-Tai Hsieh, 2003. "Do Consumers React to Anticipated Income Changes? Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 397-405, March.
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