We link detailed data on defense spending, wages, hours, employment, establishments, and GDP across U.S. cities to study the effects of fiscal stimulus. Our small-open-economy empirical setting permits us to estimate key macroeconomic outcomes and elasticities, including the responses of the labor share and the labor wedge to demand shocks and the elasticity of output with respect to labor inputs. We also decompose changes in work hours into different margins (hours per worker, the employment rate, and the labor force) and examine effects on local rental prices, wages, and firm entry. We compare our findings with the predictions of macroeconomic models and propose modifications to existing theory that can accommodate our findings.
We thank Pascal Michaillat for helpful comments and Mathieu Pedemonte for excellent research assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.