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The Structure of Public Sector Debt in Brazil

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  • Afonso S. Bevilaqua
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    Abstract

    The literature on the end of remarkable inflationary processes (Bresciani-Turroni, 1937; Sargent, 1986) calls our attention to one of the favorable aspects of hyperinflations: the fact that high inflation destroys old debts. Because of the central role fiscal deficits play in chronic inflation, the alleviation of the debt burden helps stabilization, and the fact that a large portion of government debt may disappear without the undesirable reputation costs of explicit debt repudiation is even better. In the Brazilian inflationary experience, most of this potentially favorable effect of high inflation on debt has been neutralized by indexation. In December 1994, officially recognized total federal domestic debt was 19. 9% of GDP. The fast growth of public debt in the first four years of stabilization has offset the benefits of the inflation acceleration, which occurred shortly before the onset of monetary reform in July, 1994. By December 1998, this figure was 44. 8% of GDP.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3121.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3121

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    1. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Optimal Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 5327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 1989. "Quantifying International Capital Mobility in the 1980s," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4fw7c7bh, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    3. Marcio G. P. Garcia & Alexandre Barcinski, 1996. "Capital flows to Brazil in the nineties: Macroeconomic aspects and the effectiveness of capital controls," Textos para discussão 357, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    4. Robert T. Price, 1997. "The Rationale and Design of Inflation-Indexed Bonds," IMF Working Papers 97/12, International Monetary Fund.
    5. De P. Abreu, Marcelo & Werneck, Rogerio L. F., 1993. "Privatization and regulation in Brazil: The 1990-1992 policies and the challenges ahead," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(Supplemen), pages 21-44.
    6. Cati, Regina Celia & Garcia, Marcio G P & Perron, Pierre, 1999. "Unit Roots in the Presence of Abrupt Governmental Interventions with an Application to Brazilian Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 27-56, Jan.-Feb..
    7. Bacha, Edmar L., 1990. "A three-gap model of foreign transfers and the GDP growth rate in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 279-296, April.
    8. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    9. Missale, Alessandro & Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1994. "The Debt Burden and Debt Maturity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 309-19, March.
    10. Garcia, Marcio G. P., 1993. "The Fisher effect in a signal extraction framework The recent Brazilian experience," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 71-93, June.
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