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The macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy

Cloyne, J.S.; (2011) The macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis analyses the macroeconomic effects of changes in fiscal policy. Chapter 1 provides an overview. Chapter 2 estimates the macroeconomic effects of tax changes in the United Kingdom. Identification is achieved by constructing an extensive new 'narrative' dataset of 'exogenous' tax changes in the post-war U.K. economy. Using this dataset I find that a 1 per cent cut in taxes increases GDP by 0.6 per cent on impact and by 2.5 per cent over three years. These findings are remarkably similar to narrative-based estimates for the United States. Furthermore, 'exogenous' tax changes are shown to have contributed to major episodes in the U.K. post-war business cycle. The long appendix contains the detailed historical narrative and dataset. Chapter 3 estimates the endogenous feedback from output, debt and government spending to fiscal instruments in the United States. The central innovation is to make direct use of narrative-measured tax shocks in a DSGE model estimated using Bayesian methods. I therefore assume the tax shocks are observable, rather than latent variables. I show that the feedback from debt to the fiscal instruments is weaker than previously estimated and that the capital tax multiplier is higher. Moreover, the data are more consistent with a model with endogenous feedback than one with an exogenous fiscal policy specification. Chapter 4 examines the transmission mechanism of government spending shocks by constructing and estimating a DSGE model for the United States. I show that the endogenous response of different taxes and the strength of wealth effect on labour supply play a powerful role. Given that there is little prior information on the strength of these mechanisms, I estimate the key parameters in the model. I show that this estimated model can match the empirical responses of key variables that are a challenge for many models of this type.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Economics

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