A Narrative Analysis of Post-World War II Changes in Federal Aid

34 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2012

See all articles by Gerald A. Carlino

Gerald A. Carlino

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Robert P. Inman

University of Pennsylvania - Finance Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2012

Abstract

Because of lags in legislating and implementing fiscal policy, private agents can often anticipate future changes in tax policy and government spending before these changes actually occur, a phenomenon referred to as fiscal foresight. Econometric analysis that fails to model fiscal foresight may obtain tax and spending multipliers that are biased. One way researchers have attempted to deal with the problem of fiscal foresight is by examining the narrative history of government revenue and spending news. The Great Recession and efforts by the federal government through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to stimulate the economy returned fiscal policy, and in particular the role of state and local governments in such policies, to the center of macro-economic policymaking. In a companion paper, we use federal grants-in-aid to state and local governments to provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of the ARRA. The purpose of this paper is to develop narrative measures of the federal grants-in-aid programs beginning with the Federal Highway Act of 1956 through the ARRA of 2009. The narrative measures we develop will be used as instruments for federal grants-in-aid in our subsequent analysis of the ARRA.

Keywords: Fiscal policy, Fiscal foresight, Federal grants-in-aid, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

Suggested Citation

Carlino, Gerald A. and Inman, Robert P., A Narrative Analysis of Post-World War II Changes in Federal Aid (September 2012). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 12-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2151947 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2151947

Gerald A. Carlino (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States
215-574-6434 (Phone)
215-574-4364 (Fax)

Robert P. Inman

University of Pennsylvania - Finance Department ( email )

The Wharton School
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-8299 (Phone)
215-898-8200 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
25
Abstract Views
356
PlumX Metrics