Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Myopic governments and welfare-enhancing debt limits

Contents:

Author Info

  • Rieth, Malte

Abstract

This paper studies welfare consequences of a soft borrowing constraint on sovereign debt which is modeled as a proportional fine per unit of debt exceeding some reference value. Debt is the result of myopic fiscal policy where the government is assumed to have a smaller discount factor than the private sector. Due to the absence of lump-sum taxation, debt reduces welfare. The paper shows that the imposition of a soft borrowing constraint, which resembles features of the Stability and Growth Pact and which is taken into account by the policy maker when setting its instruments, prevents excessive borrowing. The constraint can be implemented such as to (i) control the long run level of debt, (ii) prevent debt accumulation, and (iii) induce debt consolidation. In all three cases the constraint enhances welfare and in a welfare ranking these gains outweigh the short run welfare losses of increasing the costs of using debt to smooth taxes over the business cycle. JEL Classification: H3, H63, E6

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1308.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1308.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111308

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Postfach 16 03 19, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/html/index.en.html
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Postal: Press and Information Division, European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: debt bias; fiscal constraints; Myopic governments; social welfare; Stability and Growth Pact;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Emmanuel Farhi, 2007. "Capital Taxation and Ownership when Markets are Incomplete," NBER Working Papers 13390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Adam, Klaus & Grill, Michael, 2012. "Optimal Sovereign Default," Working Papers 12-16, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  4. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
  5. Douglas W. Elmendorf & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1998. "Government debt," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    • Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Gregory Mankiw, N., 1999. "Government debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1615-1669 Elsevier.
  6. Forni, Lorenzo & Gerali, Andrea & Pisani, Massimiliano, 2010. "The macroeconomics of fiscal consolidations in euro area countries," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1791-1812, September.
  7. S. Rao Aiyagari & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1994. "The optimal quantity of debt," Working Papers 538, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1995. "Balanced-budget rules, distortionary taxes, and aggregate instability," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Huixin Bi, 2011. "Sovereign Default Risk Premia, Fiscal Limits and Fiscal Policy," Working Papers 11-10, Bank of Canada.
  10. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Closing Small Open Economy Models," Departmental Working Papers 200115, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  11. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," NBER Technical Working Papers 0282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Franses,Philip Hans & Dijk,Dick van, 2000. "Non-Linear Time Series Models in Empirical Finance," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521770415, April.
  14. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
  15. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-97, December.
  16. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from the U.S. States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1046-59, November.
  17. Neumeyer, Pablo A. & Perri, Fabrizio, 2005. "Business cycles in emerging economies: the role of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 345-380, March.
  18. Adam, Klaus, 2010. "Government Debt and Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8064, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Beetsma, Roel & Ribeiro, Marcos Poplawski & Schabert, Andreas, 2008. "A Comparison of Debt and Primary-deficit Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 6897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-87, June.
  22. Jonsson, Magnus & Klein, Paul, 2003. "Tax distortions in Sweden and the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 711-729, August.
  23. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from US States," CEPR Discussion Papers 1088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Eric M. Engen & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2004. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 10681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Thomas Laubach, 2003. "New evidence on the interest rate effects of budget deficits and debt," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  26. Irina Yakadina & Michael Kumhof, 2007. "Politically Optimal Fiscal Policy," IMF Working Papers 07/68, International Monetary Fund.
  27. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative Would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-45, May.
  28. Gale, William G. & Orszag, Peter R., 2003. "Economic Effects of Sustained Budget Deficits," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(3), pages 463-85, September.
  29. David R. Stockman, 2001. "Balanced-Budget Rules: Welfare Loss and Optimal Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 438-459, July.
  30. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Luca Guerrieri & Matteo Iacoviello & Raoul Minetti, 2012. "Banks, Sovereign Debt and the International Transmission of Business Cycles," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2012, pages 181-213 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111308. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.