Using inflation to erode the US public debt
Projections indicate the US Federal debt held by the public may exceed 70–100% of GDP within 10years. In many respects, the temptation to inflate away some of this debt burden is similar to that at the end of World War II. In 1946, the debt ratio was 108.6%. Inflation reduced this ratio by more than a third within a decade. Yet there are some important differences – shorter debt maturities today reduce the temptation to inflate, while the larger share of debt held by foreigners increases it. This paper lays out an analytical framework for determining the impact of a large nominal debt overhang on the temptation to inflate. It suggests that when economic growth is stalled, the US debt overhang may induce an increase in inflation of about 5% for several years that could significantly reduce the debt ratio.
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.
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.
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.:
- Martin Feldstein, 1999.
"Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
- Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Tax Avoidance and the Deadweight Loss of the Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 5055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 2010.
"Interest rate risk and other determinants of post WWII U.S. government debt/GDP dynamics,"
01, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
- George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 2011. "Interest Rate Risk and Other Determinants of Post-WWII US Government Debt/GDP Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 192-214, July.
- George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 2010. "Interest Rate Risk and Other Determinants of Post-WWII U.S. Government Debt/GDP Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 15702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas J. Sargent & George J. Hall, 2010. "Interest rate risk and other determinants of post WWII U.S. government debt/GDP dynamics," 2010 Meeting Papers 208, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011.
"The Liquidation of Government Debt,"
BIS Working Papers
363, Bank for International Settlements.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 16893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carmen M. & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," Working Paper Series WP11-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Carmen Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2015. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," IMF Working Papers 15/7, International Monetary Fund.
- Matthias Doepke & Martin Schneider, 2006.
"Inflation as a Redistribution Shock: Effects on Aggregates and Welfare,"
NBER Working Papers
12319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Doepke, Matthias & Schneider, Martin, 2006. "Inflation as a Redistribution Shock: Effects on Aggregates and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 5939, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Matthias Doepke, . "Inflation as a Redistribution Shock: Effects on Aggregates and Welfare," UCLA Economics Online Papers 412, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Michael Bruno & William Easterly, 1995.
"Inflation Crises and Long-Run Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
5209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J., 1979.
"On the Determination of the Public Debt,"
3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Menzie Chinn & Jeffrey Frankel, 2008.
"Why the Euro Will Rival the Dollar,"
Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 55(3), pages 255-278, September.
- Kenneth D. Garbade, 2007. "The emergence of "regular and predictable" as a Treasury debt management strategy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 53-71.
- Calomiris, Charles W., 1988. "Institutional Failure, Monetary Scarcity, and the Depreciation of the Continental," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 47-68, March.
- Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997.
"Debt, cash flow and inflation incentives: A Swedish example,"
613, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1996. "Debt, Cash Flow and Inflation Incentives: A Swedish Example," CEPR Discussion Papers 1488, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Persson, M & Persson, T & Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Debt, Cash Flow and Inflation Incentives : A Swedish Example," Papers 613, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Mats Persson & Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Debt, Cash Flow and Inflation Incentives: A Swedish Example," NBER Working Papers 5772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benjamin M. Friedman, 1983. "Recent Perspectives in and on Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 1208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Matthias Doepke & Martin Schneider, 2006. "Inflation and the Redistribution of Nominal Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1069-1097, December.
- 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.
- Calvo, Guillermo A & Guidotti, Pablo E, 1992. "Optimal Maturity of Nominal Government Debt: An Infinite-Horizon Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 895-919, November.
- Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
- Guillermo A. Calvo, 1989. "Is Inflation Effective for Liquidating Short-Term Nominal Debt?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(4), pages 950-960, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:33:y:2011:i:4:p:524-541. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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.