Did the stimulus work? A review of the nine best studies on the subject Here are the nine studies, organized by the conclusion and method used. Click on each one to see my summary of the study, how it reached its conclusions, and potential problems with its approach. It worked (econometric): Feyrer and Sacerdote. Chodorow-Reich, Feiveson, Liscow, and Woolston. Wilson. It worked (modeling): Congressional Budget Office. Council of Economic Advisors. Zandi and Blinder. It worked a little bit (modeling): Oh and Reis. It didn’t work (econometric): Conley and Dupor. Taylor. As the descriptions above make clear, none of the studies are flawless. But while the optimistic studies do, in fact, support the conclusion that the stimulus worked, there is some reason to doubt that the pessimistic studies support the conclusion that it failed. Conley and Dupor found a negative effect on employment and output but, as they concede and critics of the study have emphasized, their results are not statistically significant. Taylor found that the stimulus did not increase government purchases significantly but, as Noah Smith argued, this result could be consistent with the stimulus increasing employment and output. Oh and Reis found a small multiplier for tax transfers of the kind found in the stimulus package, but as they concede, their model produces estimates for key figures that are empirically implausible. Using more plausible figures produces a significantly larger multiplier, meaning the package was more effective than the model initially suggested. Due to these issues, I’m inclined to believe that the preponderance of evidence indicates the stimulus worked.