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This paper provides new evidence on the effects of government spending shocks and the fiscal transmission mechanism in the euro area for the period 1980-2008. The contribution is two-fold. First, the authors investigate changes in the macroeconomic impact of government spending shocks using time-varying structural VAR techniques. The results show that the short-run effectiveness of government spending in stabilizing real GDP and private consumption has increased until the end-1980s but it has decreased thereafter. Moreover, government spending multipliers at longer horizons have declined substantially over the sample period.
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