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Fiscal Multipliers and the Labour Market in the Open Economy

  • Merkl, Christian
  • Faia, Ester
  • Lechthaler, Wolfgang

Several contributions have recently assessed the size of fiscal multipliers both in RBC models and New Keynesian models. None of the studies considers a model with frictional labour markets which is a crucial element, particularly at times in which much of the fiscal stimulus has been directed toward labour market measures. We use an open economy model (more specifically a currency area calibrated on the EMU) with labour market frictions in the form of labour turnover costs and workers' heterogeneity to measure fiscal multipliers. We compute short and long run multipliers and open economy spillovers for five types of fiscal packages: pure demand stimuli and consumption tax cuts return very small multipliers; income tax cut and hiring subsidies deliver larger multipliers as they reduce distortions in sclerotic labour markets; short-time work (German Kurzarbeit) returns negative short-run multipliers, but stabilises employment. Our model highlights a novel dimension through which multipliers operate, namely the labour demand stimulus which occurs in a model with non-walrasian labour markets.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in its series Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy with number 37509.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:37509
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  1. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl & Dennis Snower, 2010. "Monetary Persistence and the Labor Market: A New Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 2935, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2010. "How far are we from the slippery slope? The Laffer curve revisited," Working Paper Series 1174, European Central Bank.
  4. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 517-31, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 1998. "Understanding the effects of a shock to government purchases," Working Paper Series WP-98-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Galí, Jordi & López-Salido, J David & Vallés Liberal, Javier, 2005. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," CEPR Discussion Papers 5212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity in the New Keynesian model with search frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 706-727, April.
  9. Faia, Ester & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs, Workers' Heterogeneity, and Optimal Monetary Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 4322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Cogan, John F. & Cwik, Tobias J. & Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2009. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/17, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2005. "Non-Wage Labour Costs, Policy Uncertainty and Labour Demand - a Theoretical Assessment," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20511, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  12. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2002. "Closing Small Open Economy Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 3096, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Tobias Cwik & Volker Wieland, 2011. "Keynesian government spending multipliers and spillovers in the euro area," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(67), pages 493-549, 07.
  14. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  15. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  16. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  17. Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Severance payments in an economy with frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 477-498, June.
  18. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:4:p:1329-1368 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. 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.
  20. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2008. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 14551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
  22. Wilke, Ralf A., 2004. "New Estimates of the Duration and Risk of Unemployment for West-Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-26, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  23. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  24. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
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