Small and Orthodox Fiscal Multipliers at the Zero Lower Bound

R. Anton Braun, Lena Mareen Körber, and Yuichiro Waki
Working Paper 2013-13
December 2013

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Does fiscal policy have large and qualitatively different effects on the economy when the nominal interest rate is zero? An emerging consensus in the New Keynesian literature is that the answer is yes. New evidence provided here suggests that the answer is often no. For a broad range of empirically relevant parameterizations of the Rotemberg model of costly price adjustment, the government purchase multiplier is about one or less, and the response of hours to a tax cut is either negative or close to zero.

JEL classification: E5, E6

Key words: monetary policy; zero interest rate; fiscal multipliers

A previous version of this paper circulated under the title "Some unpleasant properties of loglinearized solutions when the nominal rate is zero." The authors thank participants from seminars at Australian National University, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Portugal, the seventh Dynare Conference, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, University of Tokyo, the University of Groningen, the London School of Economics, Vanderbilt University, and the Verein for Sozial Politik for their helpful comments. They also thank Larry Christiano, Isabel Correira, Luca Fornaro, Pedro Teles, and Tao Zha and for their helpful comments. Lena Körber gratefully acknowledges financial support from Cusanuswerk and the Economic and Social Research Council. The views expressed here are the authors' and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors' responsibility.

Please address questions regarding content to R. Anton Braun, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309-4470, 404-498-8708,; Lena Mareen Körber, Department of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom, K,; or Yuichiro Waki, School of Economics, the University of Queensland, 613 Colin Clark Building (39), QLD 4072, Australia, 61-7-336-56574,

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