Category Archives: multipliers

Assessing the Counter-cyclical Macro Policies of the Great Recession

There are at least two ways of proceeding. One could repeat the following mantra endlessly:

[T]he government taxes or borrows the resources used to build infrastructure projects. Government spending crowds resources out from the rest of the economy. More federal spending comes at the expense of a smaller private sector.

These factors explain why the 2009 stimulus failed. So did Japan’s decade-long attempt to stimulate its economy through infrastructure projects. The Japanese wound up with massive debt, superhighways in underpopulated rural districts—and an anemic economy.

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“Fiscal Policy Re-Assessed”

From an article in the La Follette Policy Review:

In 2010 as the Great Recession was releasing its grip on the world’s economy, the United Kingdom’s newly elected Conservative-Liberal government embarked upon a policy of fiscal consolidation—higher taxes and drastically reduced spending—with the aim of stabilizing the ratio of government debt to gross domestic product (GDP) while spurring economic growth….

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at 5

It was five years ago that the ARRA was passed…and thence arose a fierce storm of criticisms, ranging from the idea that the stimulus would occur after the recovery was complete (e.g., Ed Lazear), to the Treasury view (government spending would crowd out completely private spending, e.g., Eugene Fama). Time to take stock. The Council of Economic Advisers has released its last report on the ARRA, and other stimulus measures, discussed in a blogpost by CEA Chair Jason Furman.

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Friday Fiscal Lookback

I’m writing a piece on recent thinking on fiscal policy efficacy, and in looking back at the debate over the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, I read this choice comment from an Econbrowser reader in September 2009:

After today’s unemployment report, and in light of your past running blog fight with Posner, I’m thinking that Q3 GDP is going to come in much, much less than you would have predicted based on stimulus spending. You won’t take this as a repudiation of your multiplier theories, but I will.

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