How much did the 2009 fiscal stimulus boost spending? Evidence from a household survey

Author name: 
Leigh A

Using survey evidence, I estimate the impact of a $12 billion package of household payments delivered in Australia between March and May 2009. Forty percent of households who said that they received the payment reported having spent it. This is approximately twice the spending rate that has been recorded in surveys assessing the 2001 and 2008 tax rebates in the United States. Using an approach for converting spending rates into an aggregate marginal propensity to consume (MPC), this is consistent with an aggregate MPC of 0.41−0.42. Since this estimate is based only on first-quarter spending, it may be an underestimate of the longer run impact of the package on consumer expenditure.

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