Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Optimal Debt Management

Contents:

Author Info

  • Robert J. Barro

Abstract

Optimal debt management can be thought of in three stages. First, if taxes are lump sum and the other conditions for Ricardian equivalence hold, then the division of government financing between debt and taxes is irrelevant, and the whole level of public debt is indeterminate from an optimal-tax standpoint. Second, if taxes are distorting, then the timing of taxes will generally matter; for example, it may be desirable to smooth tax rates over time. This consideration makes determinate the levels of debt at various dates, but does not pin down the composition of the debt, say by maturity. Finally, if there is uncertainty about real interest rates, levels of public outlay, GDP, and so on, then the relation of tax rates to states of nature becomes important. In some cases, optimal taxation dictates the smoothing of tax rates over states of nature, and this element may pin down the composition of the debt. For example, the maturity structure can be designed to insulate the government's financing costs from shifts in real interest rates. This paper studies dynamic optimal taxation in an equilibrium model that yields a form of tax smoothing as a basis for debt management. The main analysis uses a tractable form of the one-sector stochastic growth model. The type of taxation that yields the clearest results on tax smoothing is a proportional levy on consumption. In a simple benchmark case, optimal debt management entails the issue of indexed consols. More generally, payouts on debt would also be contingent on aggregate consumption and the level of government spending.

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.nber.org/papers/w5327.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5327.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Oct 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Barro, Robert J. "Notes On Optimal Debt Management," Journal of Applied Economics, 1999, v2(2,Nov), 282-290.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5327

Note: EFG PE EFG
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

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. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 4490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  4. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Confidence Crises and Public Debt Management," CEPR Discussion Papers 318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Alessandro Prati & Guido Tabellini, 1989. "Public Confidence and Debt Management: A Model and A Case Study of Italy," NBER Working Papers 3135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "Tax Smoothing with Financial Instruments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1217-30, December.
  7. Andrew B. Abel & N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1986. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1992. " World Interest Rates and Investment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 323-42.
  10. John Y. Campbell, 1996. "Consumption and the Stock Market: Interpreting International Experience," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1763, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Breeden, Douglas T., 1979. "An intertemporal asset pricing model with stochastic consumption and investment opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 265-296, September.
  12. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
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:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

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:nbr:nberwo:5327. 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: ().

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.