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Government Spending Multipliers in Good Times and in Bad: Evidence from US Historical Data

Valerie Ramey () and Sarah Zubairy ()

Journal of Political Economy, 2018, vol. 126, issue 2, 850 - 901

Abstract: We investigate whether US government spending multipliers are higher during periods of economic slack or when interest rates are near the zero lower bound. Using new quarterly historical US data covering multiple large wars and deep recessions, we estimate multipliers that are below unity irrespective of the amount of slack in the economy. These results are robust to two leading identification schemes, two different estimation methodologies, and many alternative specifications. In contrast, the results are more mixed for the zero lower bound state, with a few specifications implying multipliers as high as 1.5.

Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Government Spending Multipliers in Good Times and in Bad: Evidence from U.S. Historical Data (2014) Downloads
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