The Fiscal Multiplier and Economic Policy Analysis in the United States: Working Paper 2015-02
This paper asks: What models do economists use to estimate the fiscal multiplier (for proposed changes in taxes and government spending)? Why do estimates of it vary widely? And how can economists use those estimates to analyze U.S. economic policy?
The recession from 2007 to 2009 sparked wide interest in the economic effects of fiscal policy. That interest is reflected in an ongoing debate over the size of the fiscal multiplier. This working paper addresses three questions: What models do economists use to estimate that multiplier? Why do estimates of it vary widely? How can economists use those estimates to judiciously analyze U.S. economic policy?