Abstract: The literature has recently asked whether the effects of fiscal policy vary with the state of the economy (Christiano, Eichenbaum, and Rebelo 2011; Rendahl 2014; Auerbach and Gorodnichenko 2012). We study this question in the context of vector autoregression (VAR) estimation. We show formally that, if (asymptotically) the parameters of the reduced-form VAR differ, then the dynamic effects of fiscal policy differ as well, generically and for any set of identification assumptions. Thus, in theory, the econometrician can detect these differences (either across time or space) generically just by relying on reduced-form VAR estimation.
Abstract: This paper provides novel evidence on the time varying impact of government spending shocks on output in Germany over the years 1970 to 2013. In a first step, I use an expectations-augmented vector autoregressive model with time varying parameters (TVP-VAR) to show that fiscal multipliers are not stable over time but exhibit a u-shaped pattern. While multipliers fluctuate around 2 at the beginning and end of the sample, they are much smaller in between. In a second step, I discuss which factors determine the magnitude of German multipliers and hence explain the observed variation. It turns out that fiscal policy is more effective when business uncertainty is high but less in periods of financial market stress, while the state of the business cycle is minor important. Moreover, I find that fiscal sustainability is a crucial determinant of the multipliers and that these are about 1 euro higher since the loss of monetary policy autonomy due to the adoption of the euro. And finally, I conclude that policy recommendations based on average multipliers are misleading.
Abstract: This paper proposes to estimate the effects of monetary policy shocks by a new agnostic method, imposing sign restrictions on the impulse responses of prices, nonborrowed reserves and the federal funds rate in response to a monetary policy shock. No restrictions are imposed on the response of real GDP to answer the key question in the title. I find that “contractionary” monetary policy shocks have no clear effect on real GDP, even though prices move only gradually in response to a monetary policy shock. Neutrality of monetary policy shocks is not inconsistent with the data.
"Differences in measures of the fisc..." refers background or methods in this paper
...Following the terminology in Uhlig (2005) and using Proposition A.1 therein, this vector can be obtained as
a ¼ Cα where α is an N dimensional vector of unit length and C is the Cholesky decomposition of ∑....
...Also, sign restrictions (Uhlig 2005) based on a priori thoughts about the sign of the impact of fiscal policy can be considered....
...Because the Cholesky decomposition of ∑ is unique, if ∑P1 ≠ ∑P2, the corresponding Cholesky decompositions CP1 and CP2 satisfy
CP1 CP2 (3)
From Uhlig (2005), we know that α is given by R....
Abstract: We argue that the government-spending multiplier can be much larger than one when the zero lower bound on the nominal interest rate binds. The larger the fraction of government spending that occurs while the nominal interest rate is zero, the larger the value of the multiplier. After providing intuition for these results, we investigate the size of the multiplier in a dynamic, stochastic, general equilibrium model. In this model the multiplier effect is substantially larger than one when the zero bound binds. Our model is consistent with the behavior of key macro aggregates during the recent financial crisis.
Abstract: Monetary policy and the private sector behavior of the US economy are modeled as a time varying structural vector autoregression, where the sources of time variation are both the coefficients and the variance covariance matrix of the innovations. The paper develops a new, simple modeling strategy for the law of motion of the variance covariance matrix and proposes an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm for the model likelihood/posterior numerical evaluation. The main empirical conclusions are: 1) both systematic and non-systematic monetary policy have changed during the last forty years. In particular, systematic responses of the interest rate to inflation and unemployment exhibit a trend toward a more aggressive behavior, despite remarkable oscillations; 2) this has had a negligible effect on the rest of the economy. The role played by exogenous non-policy shocks seems more important than interest rate policy in explaining the high inflation and unemployment episodes in recent US economic history.
Abstract: A key issue in current research and policy is the size of fiscal multipliers when the economy is in recession. We provide three insights. First, using regime-switching models, we find large differences in the size of spending multipliers in recessions and expansions with fiscal policy being considerably more effective in recessions than in expansions. Second, we estimate multipliers for more disaggregate spending variables which behave differently relative to aggregate fiscal policy shocks, with military spending having the largest multiplier. Third, we show that controlling for predictable components of fiscal shocks tends to increase the size of the multipliers in recessions.
Abstract: Contributing to the debate on the macroeconomic effects of fiscal stimuli, we show that the impact of government expenditure shocks depends crucially on key country characteristics, such as the level of development, exchange rate regime, openness to trade, and public indebtedness. Based on a novel quarterly dataset of government expenditure in 44 countries, we find that (i) the output effect of an increase in government consumption is larger in industrial than in developing countries; (ii) the fiscal multiplier is relatively large in economies operating under predetermined exchange rates but is zero in economies operating under flexible exchange rates; (iii) fiscal multipliers in open economies are smaller than in closed economies; (iv) fiscal multipliers in high-debt countries are negative.