This paper investigates the response of hours worked and real wages to fiscal policy shocks in the U.S. during the post World War II era. We identify these shocks with exogenous changes in military purchases and argue that they lead to (i) a persistent increase in government purchases and tax rates on capital and labor income, and (ii) a persistent rise in aggregate hoursworkedaswellasdeclinesinrealwages. Theshocksarealsoassociated with short lived rises in aggregate investment and small movements in private consumption. We describe and implement a methodology for assessing whether standard neoclassical models can account for the consequences of a fiscal policy shock. Simple versions of the neoclassical model can account for the qualitative effects of a fiscal shock. Once we allow for habit formation and investment adjustment costs, the model can also account for the quantitative effects of a fiscal shock. We would like to thank Lawrence J. Christiano and Lars Hansen for helpful conversations. In addition we would like to thank several referees for useful comments. The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Federa
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