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The government spending multiplier at the zero lower bound: Evidence from the United States

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  • Di Serio, Mario
  • Fragetta, Matteo
  • Gasteiger, Emanuel

Abstract

We estimate state-dependent government spending multipliers for the United States. We use a Factor-Augmented Interacted Vector Autoregression (FAIVAR) model. This allows us to capture the time-varying monetary policy characteristics including the recent zero interest rate lower bound (ZLB) state, to account for the state of the business cycle, and to address the limited information problem typically inherent in VARs. We identify government spending shocks by sign restrictions and use a government spending growth forecast series to account for the effects of anticipated fiscal policy. In our baseline specification, we find that government spending multipliers in a recession range from 3:56 to 3:79 at the ZLB. Away from the ZLB, multipliers in recessions range from 2:31 to 3:05. Several robustness analyses confirm that multipliers are higher, when the interest rate is lower and that multipliers in recessions exceed multipliers in expansions. Our results are consistent with theories that predict larger multipliers at the ZLB.

Suggested Citation

  • Di Serio, Mario & Fragetta, Matteo & Gasteiger, Emanuel, 2020. "The government spending multiplier at the zero lower bound: Evidence from the United States," ECON WPS - Working Papers in Economic Theory and Policy 04/2020, TU Wien, Institute of Statistics and Mathematical Methods in Economics, Economics Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuweco:042020
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    Cited by:

    1. Amendola, Adalgiso & Di Serio, Mario & Fragetta, Matteo & Melina, Giovanni, 2020. "The euro-area government spending multiplier at the effective lower bound," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    2. AMENDOLA, Adalgiso & DI SERIO, Mario & FRAGETTA, Matteo, 2018. "The Government Spending Multiplier at the Zero Lower Bound: Evidence from the Euro Area," CELPE Discussion Papers 153, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Interacted VAR; Fiscal Policy; Government Spending; Zero Interest Rate Lower Bound;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • 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
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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