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Optimal Maturity of Nominal Government Debt: An Infinite-Horizon Model

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  • Calvo, Guillermo A
  • Guidotti, Pablo E

Abstract

The role of debt maturity is analyzed in a framework that blends tax smoothing with time inconsistency of optimal policy when policymakers have an incentive to use unanticipated inflation to reduce the real value of nominal government liabilities. Three conclusions emerge: (1) nominal debt leads policymakers to resort to inflation even though, in equilibrium, inflation collects no revenue; (2) when under full precommitment the optimal policy calls for complete tax smoothing and a constant debt level, the equilibrium policy without precommitment calls for anticipating tax collection and early debt repayment; and (3) management of debt maturity is an essential component of the equilibrium policy. Copyright 1992 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 33 (1992)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 895-919

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:33:y:1992:i:4:p:895-919

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Cited by:
  1. Garima Vasishtha, 2007. "Domestic versus External Borrowing and Fiscal Policy in Emerging Markets," Working Papers 07-33, Bank of Canada.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "The Forgotten History of Domestic Debt," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 319-350, 05.
  3. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 2009. "Using Inflation to Erode the U.S. Public Debt," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6xf174rs, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  4. Hakan Berument & M. Eray YĆ¼cel, 2005. "Return and Maturity Relationships for Treasury Auctions : Evidence from Turkey," Departmental Working Papers 0511, Bilkent University, Department of Economics.
  5. Danyang Xie, 2002. "On Time Inconsistency: A Technical Issue in Stackelberg Differential Games," Macroeconomics 0212004, EconWPA.
  6. Joshua Aizenman & Ricardo Hausmann, 1994. "Why is Inflation Skewed? A Debt and Volatility Story," NBER Working Papers 4837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Beetsma,Roel M.W.J. & Bovenberg,A. Lans, 1995. "The role of public debt in the game of double chicken," Research Memorandum 025, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  8. Rigobon, Roberto, 2002. "Disinflation and fiscal reform: a neoclassical perspective," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 265-297, December.
  9. Kiley, Michael T., 1998. "Predicting Tax Rate Changes: Insights from the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 153-167, January.
  10. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2000. "The Cost Efficiency of UK Debt Management: A Recursive Modelling Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 346, CESifo Group Munich.

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