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Debt Maturity: Is Long-Term Debt Optimal?

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  • Laura Alfaro
  • Fabio Kanczuk

Abstract

We model and calibrate the arguments in favor and against short-term and long-term debt. These arguments broadly include: maturity premium, sustainability, and service smoothing. We use a dynamic equilibrium model with tax distortions and government outlays uncertainty, and model maturity as the fraction of debt that needs to be rolled over every period. In the model, the benefits of defaulting are tempered by higher future interest rates. We then calibrate our artificial economy and solve for the optimal debt maturity for Brazil as an example of a developing country and the U.S. as an example of a mature economy. We obtain that the calibrated costs from defaulting on long-term debt more than offset costs associated with short-term debt. Therefore, short-term debt implies higher welfare levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13119.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Publication status: published as Laura Alfaro & Fabio Kanczuk, 2009. "Debt Maturity: Is Long-Term Debt Optimal?," Review of International Economics, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(5), pages 890-905, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13119

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Broner, Fernando A & Lorenzoni, Guido & Schmukler, Sergio, 2007. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2010. "Nominal versus indexed debt: A quantitative horse race," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1706-1726, December.
  3. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A. & Rubio-Ramirez, Juan Francisco & Uribe, Martín, 2009. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7264, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Javier J. Pérez & Rocío Prieto, 2014. "The structure of sub-natural public debt: Liquidity vs credit risk," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1403, Banco de Espa�a.
  5. Opazo, Luis & Raddatz, Claudio & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2009. "The long and the short of emerging market debt," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5056, The World Bank.
  6. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Working Paper 08-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  7. Opazo, Luis & Raddatz, Claudio & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2014. "Institutional investors and long-term investment : evidence from Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6922, The World Bank.
  8. Samia Omrane, 2012. "An Analysis of Exchange Rate Risk Exposure Related to the Public Debt Portfolio of Tunisia: Beyond VaR Approach," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 59(1), pages 59-87, March.

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