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Nominal versus indexed debt: A quantitative horse race

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  • Alfaro, Laura
  • Kanczuk, Fabio

Abstract

The main arguments in favor and against nominal and indexed debts are the incentive to default through inflation versus hedging against unforeseen shocks. We model and calibrate these arguments to assess their quantitative importance. We use a dynamic equilibrium model with tax distortion, government outlays uncertainty, and contingent-debt service. Our framework also recognizes that contingent debt can be associated with incentive problems and lack of commitment. Thus, the benefits of unexpected inflation are tempered by higher interest rates. We obtain that costs from inflation more than offset the benefits from reducing tax distortions. We further discuss sustainability of nominal debt in developing (volatile) countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2010. "Nominal versus indexed debt: A quantitative horse race," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1706-1726, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:29:y:2010:i:8:p:1706-1726
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Kanczuk & Laura Alfaro, 2012. "Carry Trade and Exchange Rate Regimes," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2012_05, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    2. Beetsma, Roel & Westerhout, Ed, 2016. "A comparison of nominal and indexed debt under fiscal constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 11141, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Laura Alfaro & Fabio Kanczuk, 2013. "Debt Redemption and Reserve Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 19098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nominal debt Indexed debt Default Tax smoothing Contingent service Agency costs;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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