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Jel Classification:E62 

Working Paper
The Returns to Government R&D: Evidence from U.S. Appropriations Shocks

Based on a narrative classification of all significant postwar changes in R&D appropriations for five major federal agencies, we find that an increase in nondefense R&D appropriations leads to increases in various measures of innovative activity and higher business-sector productivity in the long run. We structurally estimate the production function elasticity of nondefense government R&D capital using the SP-IV methodology of Lewis and Mertens (2023) and obtain implied returns of 150 to 300 percent over the postwar period. The estimates indicate that government-funded R&D accounts for one ...
Working Papers , Paper 2305

Working Paper
How to Starve the Beast: Fiscal Policy Rules

Countries have widely imposed fiscal rules designed to constrain government spending and ensure fiscal responsibility. This paper studies the effectiveness and welfare implications of revenue, deficit and debt rules when governments are discretionary and profligate. The optimal prescription is a revenue ceiling coupled with a balance budget requirement. For the U.S., the optimal revenue ceiling is about 15% of output, 3 percentage points below the postwar average. Most of the benefits can still be reaped with a milder constraint or escape clauses during adverse times. Imposing a single fiscal ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-026

Working Paper
The Returns to Government R&D: Evidence from U.S. Appropriations Shocks

We estimate the causal impact of government-funded R&D on business-sector productivity growth. Identification is based on a novel narrative classification of all significant postwar changes in appropriations for R&D funded by five major federal agencies. Using long-horizon local projections and the narrative measures, we find that an increase in appropriations for nondefense R&D leads to increases in various measures of innovative activity, and higher productivity in the long run. We structurally estimate the production function elasticity of nondefense government R&D capital using the SP-IV ...
Working Papers , Paper 2305

Journal Article
COVID-19: Fiscal Implications and Financial Stability in Developing Countries

The COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike any other crisis that we have experienced in that it hit all economies in the world at the same time, compromising the risk-sharing ability of nations. At the onset of the pandemic, the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) jointly pledged 1.16 trillion U.S. dollars to help emerging economies deal with COVID-19. Would this amount have been enough to preserve financial stability in a worst case scenario, and what were the fiscal implications of the pandemic? In this article we aim to answer these questions by documenting the size of the ...
Review , Volume 105 , Issue 3 , Pages 137-149

Journal Article
The Aggregate and Relative Economic Effects of Government Financed Health Care

Government‐financed health care expenditures, through Medicare and Medicaid, have grown from roughly 0% to over 7.6% of national personal income over the past 50 years. This paper investigates the stimulative effects of Medicare spending. Using an annual, state‐level panel, we regress state income growth on own‐state spending and spending in other states, instrumented by unanticipated shocks to aggregate Medicare spending, to estimate local and spillover effects. In our benchmark specification, the own‐spending multiplier equals 1.3 and the spillover multiplier equals 0.4. The total ...
Working Papers , Volume 59 , Issue 2

Working Paper
Regional Consumption Responses and the Aggregate Fiscal Multiplier

We use regional variation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009-2012) to analyze the effect of government spending on consumer spending. Our consumption data come from household-level retail purchases in the Nielsen scanner data and auto purchases from Equifax credit balances. We estimate that a $1 increase in county-level government spending increases local non-durable consumer spending by $0.29 and local auto spending by $0.09. We translate the regional consumption responses to an aggregate fiscal multiplier using a multiregional, New Keynesian model with heterogeneous agents, ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2018-04

Working Paper
Did the 2017 Tax Reform Discriminate against Blue State Voters?

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) made significant changes to corporate and personal federal income taxation, including limiting the SALT (state and local property, income and sales taxes) deductibility to $10,000. States with high SALT tend to vote Democratic. This paper estimates the differential effect of the TCJA on red- and blue-state taxpayers and investigates the importance of the SALT limitation to this differential. We calculate the effect of permanent implementation of the TCJA on households using The Fiscal Analyzer: a life-cycle, consumption-smoothing program incorporating ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2019-7

Working Paper
Optimal Unemployment Insurance and International Risk Sharing

We discuss how cross-country unemployment insurance can be used to improve international risk sharing. We use a two-country business cycle model with incomplete financial markets and frictional labor markets where the unemployment insurance scheme operates across both countries. Cross-country insurance through the unemployment insurance system can be achieved without affecting unemployment outcomes. The Ramsey-optimal policy however prescribes a more countercyclical replacement rate when international risk sharing concerns enter the unemployment insurance trade-off. We calibrate our model to ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-054

Working Paper
Financial Integration and Monetary Policy Coordination

Financial integration generates macroeconomic spillovers that may require international monetary policy coordination. We show that individual central banks may set nominal interest rates too low or too high relative to the cooperative outcome. We identify three sufficient statistics that determine whether the Nash equilibrium exhibits under-tightening or over-tightening: the output gap, sectoral differences in labor intensity, and the trade balance response to changes in nominal rates. Independently of the shocks hitting the economy, we find that under-tightening is possible during economic ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 802

Working Paper
The Determination of Public Debt under both Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Uncertainty

We use an analytically tractable, heterogeneous-agent incomplete-markets model to show that the Ramsey planner's decision to finance stochastic public expenditures implies a departure from tax smoothing and an endogenous mean-reverting force to support positive debt growth despite the government's precautionary saving motives. Specifically, the government's attempt to balance the competing incentives between its own precautionary saving (tax smoothing) and households' precautionary saving (individual consumption smoothing)---even at the cost of extra tax distortion---implies an endogenous, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-038

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