Withering Government Spending Multipliers


  • We thank Morten Ravn as well as two anonymous referees for valuable comments and suggestions.


The empirical literature has documented a weakening of the consumption and output responses to an increase in government spending during the last 30 years. We show that a New Keynesian model in which real government spending is observed with measurement errors can account for the reduction in the size of government spending multipliers. The model implies—consistent with empirical evidence presented by Ilzetzki, Mendoza, and Vegh (2010)—that the evolution of monetary policy and greater globalization (increasing international trade and decreasing capital controls) are key factors in this development.