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Optimal debt management in a liquidity trap

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  • Bouakez, Hafedh
  • Oikonomou, Rigas
  • Priftis, Romanos

Abstract

We study optimal debt management in the face of shocks that can drive the economy into a liquidity trap and call for an increase in public spending in order to mitigate the resulting recession. Our approach follows the literature of macroeconomic models of debt management, which we extend to the case where the zero lower bound on the short-term interest rate may bind. We wish to identify the conditions under which removing long-maturity government debt from the secondary market can be an optimal policy outcome. We show that the optimal debt-management strategy is to issue short-term debt if the government faces a sizable exogenous increase in public spending and if its initial liability is not very large. In this case, our results run against the standard prescription of the debt-management literature. In contrast, if the initial debt level is high, then issuing long term government bonds is optimal. Finally, we find a role for revisions in the debt management strategy during LT episodes, whereby the government actively manages the maturity structure, in some cases removing long bonds from the secondary market.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouakez, Hafedh & Oikonomou, Rigas & Priftis, Romanos, 2018. "Optimal debt management in a liquidity trap," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 5-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:93:y:2018:i:c:p:5-21
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2018.01.033
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    Cited by:

    1. Boris Chafwehé & Rigas Oikonomou & Romanos Priftis & Lukas Vogel, 2021. "(Optimal) Monetary Policy with and without Debt," Staff Working Papers 21-5, Bank of Canada.
    2. Boris Chafwehe Author-Email: boris.chafwehe@uclouvain.be & Rigas Oikonomou & Romanos Priftis & Lukas Vogel, 2018. "Endogenous forward guidance," Working Paper Research 354, National Bank of Belgium.
    3. Ignacio Lozano-Espitia & Fernando Arias-Rodríguez & Jesus Bejarano & Andres Gonzalez & Clark Granger-Castaño & Franz Hamann & Yurany Hernández-Turca & Juan Manuel Julio-Román & Martha López & Juan C. , 2019. "La política fiscal y la estabilización macroeconómica en Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, issue 90, pages 1-60, April.
    4. Ignacio Lozano-Espitia & Fernando Arias-Rodríguez, Jesus Bejarano & Andres Gonzalez, Clark Granger-Castaño & Franz Hamann, Yurany Hernández-Turca & Juan Manuel Julio-Román, Martha López & Juan C. Mend, 2019. "La política fiscal y la estabilización macroeconómica en Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos Sobre Política Económica, Banco de la República - ESPE, issue 90, pages 1-60, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt management; Debt maturity; Fiscal policy; Liquidity trap; Monetary policy; Tax smoothing; Portfolio rebalancing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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