John Taylor

No, A Bigger Stimulus Would Not Have Worked Either

Paul Krugman writes (citing Noah Smith) that he agrees with the empirical findings in my critique of the revival of Keynesian activism in the 2000s (the stimulus packages of 2001, 2008 and 2009). In particular, he writes that “it’s far from clear that the ARRA actually led to much of a rise in government spending, while the tax cuts that made up much of the stimulus were probably largely saved.”

But he then goes on to say that the stimulus was too small. That’s not what I found in my paper. As I stated in the paper, my “results do not lend support to” the view “that the stimulus was too small.” Rather the paper showed that “a larger stimulus package—with the proportions going to state and local grants, federal purchases, and transfers to individual the same as in ARRA—would show little change in government purchases or consumption.”

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(photo credit: Daniele Garzia)

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