Optimal Management of Indexed and Nominal Debt
AbstractA tax-smoothing objective is used to assess the optimal consumption of public debt with respect to maturity and contingencies. This objective motivates the government to make its debt payout contingent on the levels of public outlay and the tax base. If these contingencies are present, but asset prices of non-contingent indexed debt are stochastic, then full tax smoothing dictates an optimal maturity structure of the non-contingent debt. If the certainty-equivalent outlays are the same for each period then the government should guarantee equal real payouts in each period, that is, the debt takes the form of indexed consols. This structure insulates the government's budget constraint from unpredictable variations in the market prices of indexed bonds of various maturities. If contingent debt is precluded, then the government may want to depart from a consol maturity structure to exploit covariances among public outlay, the tax base, and the term structure of real interest rates. However, if moral hazard is the reason for the preclusion of contingent debt, then this consideration also deters exploitation of these covariances and tends to return the optimal solution to the consol maturity structure. The issue of nominal bonds may allow the government to exploit the covariances among public outlay, the tax base, and the rate of inflation. But if moral-hazard explains the absence of contingent debt, then the same reasoning tends to make nominal debt issue undesirable. The bottom line is that an optimal-tax approach to public debt favors bonds that are indexed and long term.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6197.
Date of creation: Sep 1997
Date of revision:
Note: EFG ME PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Robert J. Barro, 2002. "Optimal Management of Indexed and Nominal Debt," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Fernando Lefort & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Serie (ed.), Indexation, Inflation and Monetary Policy, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 5, pages 135-150 Central Bank of Chile.
- Robert Barro, 2003. "Optimal Management of Indexed and Nominal Debt," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 4(1), pages 1-15, May.
- Robert Barro, 1998. "Optimal Management of Indexed and Nominal Debt," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 26, Central Bank of Chile.
- Robert Barro, 2003. "Optimal Management of Indexed and Nominal Debt," CEMA Working Papers 496, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
- E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
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.:
- 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.
- Alesina, A. & Prati, A. & Tabellini, G., 1989.
"Public Confidence And Debt Management: A Model And A Case Study Of Italy,"
5, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
- 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.
- Alesina, Alberto F & Prati, Alessandro & Tabellini, Guido, 1989. "Public Confidence and Debt Management: A Model and a Case Study of Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 351, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1987. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1419-31, November.
- Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982.
"Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital,"
532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1990. "Business cycles: real facts and a monetary myth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-18.
- Fischer, Stanley, 1983. "`Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital' by Robert E. Lucas and Nancy L. Stokey," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 95-99.
- Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Optimal Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 5327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
- V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993.
"Optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model,"
160, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1989.
"Confidence Crises and Public Debt Management,"
NBER Working Papers
2926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Confidence Crises and Public Debt Management," CEPR Discussion Papers 318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1989. "Confidence Crises and Public Debt Management," Working Papers 73, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
- Barro, Robert J., 1979.
"On the Determination of the Public Debt,"
3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alessandro Missale & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1991.
"The Debt Burden and Debt Maturity,"
NBER Working Papers
3944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1984. "Time-consistent fiscal policy and government cash-flow," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, November.
- Barro, Robert J., 1974.
"Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?,"
3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Bohn, Henning, 1990. "Tax Smoothing with Financial Instruments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1217-30, December.
- Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.