Fiscal Policy and Fiscal Fragility: Empirical Evidence from the OECD
Journal of International Money and Finance,
In this paper, we use local projections to investigate the impact of consolidation shocks on GDP growth, conditional on the fragility of government finances. Based on a database of fiscal plans in OECD countries, we show that spending shocks are less detrimental than tax-based consolidation. In times of fiscal fragility, our results indicate strongly that governments should consolidate through surprise policy changes rather than announcements of consolidation at a later horizon.
Fiscal Stimulus and Consumer Debt
Review of Economics and Statistics,
In the aftermath of the consumer debt–induced recession, policymakers have questioned whether fiscal stimulus is effective during periods of high consumer indebtedness. This study empirically investigates this question. Using detailed data on Department of Defense spending for the 2007–2009 period, we document that the open-economy relative fiscal multiplier is higher in geographies with higher consumer debt. The results suggest that in the short term (2007–2009), fiscal policy can mitigate the adverse effect of consumer (over)leverage on real economic output during a recession. We then exploit detailed microdata to show that both heterogeneous marginal propensities to consume and slack-driven economic mechanisms contribute to the debt-dependent multiplier.
Should We Use Linearized Models To Calculate Fiscal Multipliers?
Journal of Applied Econometrics,
We calculate the magnitude of the government consumption multiplier in linearized and nonlinear solutions of a New Keynesian model at the zero lower bound. Importantly, the model is amended with real rigidities to simultaneously account for the macroeconomic evidence of a low Phillips curve slope and the microeconomic evidence of frequent price changes. We show that the nonlinear solution is associated with a much smaller multiplier than the linearized solution in long-lived liquidity traps, and pin down the key features in the model which account for the di¤erence. Our results caution against the common practice of using linearized models to calculate scal multipliers in long-lived liquidity traps.
Can R&D Subsidies Counteract the Economic Crisis? – Macroeconomic Effects in Germany
During the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, governments in Europe stabilized their economies by means of fiscal policy. After decades of absence, deficit spending was used to counteract the heavy decline in demand. In Germany, public spending went partially into R&D subsidies in favor of small and medium sized enterprises. Applying the standard open input–output model, the paper analyzes the macroeconomic effects of R&D subsidies on employment and production in the business cycle. Findings in the form of backward multipliers suggest that R&D subsidies have stimulated a substantial leverage effect. Almost two thirds of the costs of R&D projects are covered by the enterprises themselves. Overall, a subsidized R&D program results in a production, value added and employment effect that amounts to at least twice the initial financing. Overall, the R&D program counteracts the decline of GDP by 0.5% in the year 2009. In the year 2010 the effects are already procyclical since the German economy recovered quickly. Compared to the strongly discussed alternative uses of subsidies for private consumption, R&D spending is more effective.
Gauging the Effects of Fiscal Stimulus Packages in the Euro Area
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
We seek to quantify the impact on euro area GDP of the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) enacted in response to the financial crisis of 2008–2009. To do so, we estimate an extended version of the ECB's New Area-Wide Model with a richly specified fiscal sector. The estimation results point to the existence of important complementarities between private and government consumption and, to a lesser extent, between private and public capital. We first examine the implied present-value multipliers for seven distinct fiscal instruments and show that the estimated complementarities result in fiscal multipliers larger than one for government consumption and investment. We highlight the importance of monetary accommodation for these findings. We then show that the EERP, if implemented as initially enacted, had a sizeable, although short-lived impact on euro area GDP. Since the EERP comprised both revenue and expenditure-based fiscal stimulus measures, the total multiplier is below unity.
Fiscal Spending Multiplier Calculations Based on Input-Output Tables? An Application to EU Member States
Intervention. European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies,
Fiscal spending multiplier calculations have attracted considerable attention in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Much of the current literature is based on VAR estimation methods and DSGE models. In line with the Keynesian literature we argue that many of these models probably underestimate the fiscal spending multiplier in recessions. The income-expenditure model of the fiscal spending multiplier can be seen as a good approximation under these circumstances. In its conventional form this model suffers from an underestimation of the multiplier due to an overestimation of the import intake of domestic absorption. In this article we apply input-output calculus to solve this problem. Multipliers thus derived are comparably high, ranging between 1.4 and 1.8 for many member states of the European Union. GDP drops due to budget consolidation might therefore be substantial in times of crisis.
Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
The paper subjects seven structural DSGE models, all used heavily by policymaking institutions, to discretionary fiscal stimulus shocks using seven different fiscal instruments, and compares the results to those of two prominent academic DSGE models. There is considerable agreement across models on both the absolute and relative sizes of different types of fiscal multipliers. The size of many multipliers is large, particularly for spending and targeted transfers. Fiscal policy is most effective if it has moderate persistence and if monetary policy is accommodative. Permanently higher spending or deficits imply significantly lower initial multipliers.
Revenue Boosting Instruments in Municipal Finance from a Public Choice Perspective
Diamond, J. (ed.), Proceedings. 98th Annual Conference on Taxation, Miami, Florida, November 17-19, 2005 and Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the National Tax Association, Thrusday, November 17, 2005,
German municipalities are currently struggling with growing budget deficits, decreasing revenues, and rising expenditures. We argue that from a public choice perspective local politicians under financial pressure might prefer fiscal instruments that minimize the local voters' resistance and create fiscal illusion. According to Germany, suitable sources of additional revenues include the reallocation of revenues from the local business tax between the levels of government and increased profitability of local public utilities. Revenue Data from 1992 to 2004 indicate that changes in the relative significance of the net local business tax revenues are rather caused by changes in the share of the federal government in the revenues ('Gewerbesteuerumlage') than by changes in the local tax multipliers. Furthermore, we find a significant rise in profits of local public utilities in large German cities.