IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Managing the Public Debt: The Optimal Taxation Approach

  • Missale, Alessandro

This paper examines research on public debt management, focusing on debt structure by denomination, indexation features, and maturity. The optimal taxation approach is reviewed and its policy implications are related to the trade-off between minimization of the expected cost of debt servicing and minimization of budgetary risk. Strong arguments are provided for debt instruments which yield low returns when output and hence revenues are lower and public spending higher than expected. This debt design minimizes tax distortions and provides flexibility in conducting fiscal policy. The exact characterization of the debt composition which supports efficient taxation depends on the stochastic structure of the economy. Long-term nominal debt is a hedge against supply shocks affecting revenues and inflation and makes the government budget insensitive to interest-rate risk. However, at high levels of debt, the extent of insurance or flexibility that governments can obtain by issuing long-term nominal debt is limited by the need to maintain the credibility of the anti-inflation stance. Copyright 1997 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

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:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 235-65

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:235-65
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:235-65. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.