Abstract

A small, but growing, body of literature searches for evidence of non-Keynesian effects of fiscal contractions. That is, some evidence exists that large fiscal contractions stimulate short-run economic activity. Our paper continues this research effort by systematically examining the effects, if any, of unusual fiscal events - either non-Keynesian results within a Keynesian model or Keynesian results within a neoclassical model -- on short-run economic activity. We examine this issue within three separate models -- a St. Louis equation, a Hall-type consumption equation, and a growth accounting equation. Our empirical findings are mixed, and do not provide strong systematic support for the view that unusually large fiscal contractions/expansions reverse the effects of normal fiscal events. Moreover, we find only limited evidence that trigger points are empirically important.

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