These views of spending assume that government knows exactly which goods and services are underutilized, which public goods will be value added, and where to redirect resources.However, there is no information source that allows the government to know where goods and services can be most productively employed.Tags: How To Write An Anecdote In An EssaySythesis ReactionsPersuasive Essays DefinitionWatching Television Is Bad For EssayEssays On Cat PopulationMedical Center Business Plan
This can lead to less investment in areas such as home building and productive capacity, which includes the facilities and infrastructure used to contribute to the economy's output.
An NBER paper that analyzes a panel of OECD countries found that government spending also has a strong negative correlation with business investment.
Proponents of government spending often point to the fiscal multiplier as a way that spending can fuel growth.
The multiplier is a factor by which some measure of economy-wide output (such as GDP) increases in response to a given amount of government spending.
Rather than spend money where it is most needed, legislators instead allocate money to favored groups.
Though this may yield a high political return for incumbents seeking reelection, this process does not favor economic growth. A 1974 paper by Stanford's Gavin Wright found that political attempts to maximize votes explained between 59 and 80 percent of the difference in per capita federal spending to the states during the Great Depression.Although the studies are not all consistent, historical evidence suggests an undesirable, long-run effect from government spending: it crowds out private-sector spending and uses money in unproductive ways.Policy makers should use the best literature available to analyze government spending designed to spur growth for the likelihood of achieving that effect.A multiplier larger than 1 implies more employment, and a number smaller than 1 implies a net job loss.In its 2009 assessment of the job effects of the stimulus plan, the incoming Obama administration used a multiplier estimate of approximately 1.5 for government spending for most quarters.In a September 2009 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) paper, Harvard economists Robert Barro and Charles Redlick estimated that the multiplier from government defense spending reaches 1.0 at high levels of unemployment but is less than 1.0 at lower unemployment rates.Non-defense spending may have an even smaller multiplier effect.Where the assumptions or data are uncertain, the analysis should fully explore the potential consequences of different assumptions or different potential values for the uncertain data.Proponents of government spending claim that it provides public goods that markets generally do not, such as military defense, enforcement of contracts, and police services.Government spending, even in a time of crisis, is not an automatic boon for an economy's growth.A body of empirical evidence shows that, in practice, government outlays designed to stimulate the economy may fall short of that goal.