Optimal Management of Indexed and Nominal Debt
A tax-smoothing objective is used to assess the optimal composition of public debt with respect to maturity and contingencies. This objective motivates the government to make its debt payouts 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 certaintyequivalent 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.
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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994.
"Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-52, August.
- V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model," Staff Report 160, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- 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.
- Barro, Robert J, 1979.
"On the Determination of the Public Debt,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
- 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.
- Alesina, A. & Prati, A. & Tabellini, G., 1989. "Public Confidence And Debt Management: A Model And A Case Study Of Italy," Papers 5, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
- 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.
- Bohn, Henning, 1990. "Tax Smoothing with Financial Instruments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1217-30, December.
- Barro, Robert J., 1974.
"Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?,"
3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- 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 J. Barro, 1995. "Optimal Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 5327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2003:v:4:i:1:p:1-15. 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: (Qiang Gao)
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.