The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We estimate the average fiscal multiplier, allowing multipliers to be heterogeneous across countries or over time and correlated with the size of government spending. We demonstrate that this form of nonseparable unobserved heterogeneity is empirically relevant and address it by estimating a correlated random coefficient model. Using a panel dataset of 127 countries over the period 1994-2011, we show that not accounting for omitted heterogeneity produces a significant downward bias in conventional multiplier estimates. We rely on both crosssectional and time-series variation in spending shocks, exploiting the differential effects of oil price shocks on fuel subsidies, to identify the average government spending multiplier. Our estimates of the average multiplier range between 1.4 and 1.6.