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Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Default under Incomplete Markets

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  • Demian Pouzo
  • Ignacio Presno

Abstract

In a dynamic economy, we characterize the fiscal policy of the government when it levies distortionary taxes and issues defaultable bonds to finance its stochastic expenditure. Default may occur in equilibrium as it prevents the government from incurring in future tax distortions that would come along with the service of the debt. Households anticipate the possibility of default generating endogenous credit limits. These limits hinder the government's ability to smooth taxes using debt, implying more volatile and less serially correlated fiscal policies, higher borrowing costs and lower levels of indebtedness. In order to exit temporary financial autarky following a default event, the government has to repay a random fraction of the defaulted debt. We show that the optimal fiscal and renegotiation policies have implications aligned with the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Demian Pouzo & Ignacio Presno, 2015. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Default under Incomplete Markets," Papers 1508.03924, arXiv.org, revised May 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1508.03924
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    References listed on IDEAS

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