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Fiscal Policy and Debt Management with Incomplete Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Anmol Bhandari
  • David Evans
  • Mikhail Golosov
  • Thomas J. Sargent

Abstract

A Ramsey planner chooses a distorting tax on labor and manages a portfolio of securities in an economy with incomplete markets. We develop a method that uses second order approximations of Ramsey policies to obtain formulas for conditional and unconditional moments of government debt and taxes that include means and variances of the invariant distribution as well as speeds of mean reversion. The asymptotic mean of the planner's portfolio minimizes a measure of fiscal risk. We obtain analytic expressions that approximate moments of the invariant distribution and apply them to data on a primary government deficit, aggregate consumption, and returns on traded securities. For U.S. data, we find that the optimal target debt level is negative but close to zero, the invariant distribution of debt is very dispersed, and mean reversion is slow.

Suggested Citation

  • Anmol Bhandari & David Evans & Mikhail Golosov & Thomas J. Sargent, 2017. "Fiscal Policy and Debt Management with Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 617-663.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:132:y:2017:i:2:p:617-663.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjw041
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Karen Kopecky & Richard Suen, 2010. "Finite State Markov-chain Approximations to Highly Persistent Processes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 701-714, July.
    2. George-Marios Angeletos, 2002. "Fiscal Policy with Noncontingent Debt and the Optimal Maturity Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1105-1131.
    3. Buera, Francisco & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 2004. "Optimal maturity of government debt without state contingent bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 531-554, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2018. "Countercyclical fiscal policy in a low r∗ world," 2018 Meeting Papers 621, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Yongsung Chang & Yena Park, 2017. "Optimal Taxation with Private Insurance," Working papers 2017rwp-105, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    3. Antonio Fatás & Atish R. Ghosh & Ugo Panizza & Andrea F Presbitero, 2019. "The Motives to Borrow," IMF Working Papers 19/101, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Kaufmann, Christoph, 2019. "Optimal fiscal substitutes for the exchange rate in monetary unions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 43-62.
    5. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes & Pierre Yared, 2018. "Optimal Fiscal Policy without Commitment: Beyond Lucas-Stokey," NBER Working Papers 24522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Boháček, Radim & Kejak, Michal, 2018. "Optimal government policies in models with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 834-858.
    7. Azzimonti, Marina & Yared, Pierre, 2019. "The optimal public and private provision of safe assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 126-144.
    8. Anastasios Karantounias, 2019. "A dynamic theory of the excess burden of taxation," 2019 Meeting Papers 1356, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Floriana Cerniglia - Enzo Dia - Andrew Hughes Hallett, 2018. "Fiscal sustainability vs. fiscal stability: tax and debt under entitlement spending," CRANEC - Working Papers del Centro di Ricerche in Analisi economica e sviluppo economico internazionale crn1801, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Centro di Ricerche in Analisi economica e sviluppo economico internazionale (CRANEC).
    10. Etro, Federico, 2017. "Research in economics and macroeconomics," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 373-383.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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