NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Shu-Chun Susan Yang

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Working Papers

April 2011Foresight and Information Flows
with Eric M. Leeper, Todd B. Walker: w16951
News--or foresight--about future economic fundamentals can create rational expectations equilibria with non-fundamental representations that pose substantial challenges to econometric efforts to recover the structural shocks to which economic agents react. Using tax policies as a leading example of foresight, simple theory makes transparent the economic behavior and information structures that generate non-fundamental equilibria. Econometric analyses that fail to model foresight will obtain biased estimates of output multipliers for taxes; biases are quantitatively important when two canonical theoretical models are taken as data generating processes. Both the nature of equilibria and the inferences about the effects of anticipated tax changes hinge critically on hypothesized tax informati...
July 2009Government Investment and Fiscal Stimulus in the Short and Long Runs
with Eric M. Leeper, Todd B. Walker: w15153
This paper contributes to the debate about fiscal multipliers by studying the impacts of government investment in conventional neoclassical growth models. The analysis focuses on two dimensions of fiscal policy that are critical for understanding the effects of government investment: implementation delays associated with building public capital projects and expected future fiscal adjustments to debt-financed spending. Implementation delays can produce small or even negative labor and output responses in the short run; anticipated fiscal financing adjustments matter both quantitatively and qualitatively for long-run growth effects. Taken together, these two dimensions have important implications for the short-run and long-run impacts of fiscal stimulus in the form of higher government infra...
January 2009Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows
with Eric M. Leeper, Todd B. Walker: w14630
Fiscal foresight -- the phenomenon that legislative and implementation lags ensure that private agents receive clear signals about the tax rates they face in the future -- is intrinsic to the tax policy process. This paper develops an analytical framework to study the econometric implications of fiscal foresight. Simple theoretical examples show that foresight produces equilibrium time series with nonfundamental representations, which misalign the agents' and the econometrician's information sets. Economically meaningful shocks to taxes, therefore, cannot generally be extracted from statistical innovations in conventional ways. Econometric analyses that fail to align agents' and the econometrician's information sets can produce distorted inferences about the effects of tax policies. The pa...
May 2008Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics
with Eric M. Leeper, Todd B. Walker: w14028
Fiscal foresight---the phenomenon that legislative and implementation lags ensure that private agents receive clear signals about the tax rates they face in the future---is intrinsic to the tax policy process. This paper develops an analytical framework to study the econometric implications of fiscal foresight. Simple theoretical examples show that foresight produces equilibrium time series with a non-invertible moving average component, which misaligns the agents' and the econometrician's information sets in estimated VARs. Economically meaningful shocks to taxes, therefore, cannot be extracted from statistical innovations in conventional ways. Econometric analyses that fail to align agents' and the econometrician's information sets can produce distorted inferences about the effects of ta...

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