Aggregate Demand in Keynesian Analysis

What Determines Government Spending?

The third component of aggregate demand is federal, state, and local government spending. Although we usually view the United States as a market economy, government still plays a significant role in the economy. As we discuss in Environmental Protection and Negative Externalities and Positive Externalitites and Public Goods, government provides important public services such as national defense, transportation infrastructure, and education.

Keynes recognized that the government budget offered a powerful tool for influencing aggregate demand. Not only could more government spending stimulate AD (or less government spending reduce it), but lowering or raising tax rates could influence consumption and investment spending. Keynes concluded that during extreme times like deep recessions, only the government had the power and resources to move aggregate demand.