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Interest rate risk and other determinants of post WWII U.S. government debt/GDP dynamics

Author

Listed:
  • George J. Hall

    () (Department of Economics, Brandeis University)

  • Thomas J. Sargent

    (Department of Economics, New York University)

Abstract

This paper uses a sequence of government budget constraints to motivate estimates of returns on the U.S. Federal government debt. Our estimates differ conceptually and quantitatively from the interest payments reported by the U.S. government. We use our estimates to account for contributions to the evolution of the debt-GDP ratio made by inflation, growth, and nominal returns paid on debts of different maturities.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 2010. "Interest rate risk and other determinants of post WWII U.S. government debt/GDP dynamics," Working Papers 01, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  • Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:01
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    File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian & Wright, Jonathan H., 2007. "The U.S. Treasury yield curve: 1961 to the present," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2291-2304, November.
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    3. Butkiewicz, James L., 1983. "The market value of outstanding government debt : Comment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 373-379.
    4. Antje Berndt & Hanno Lustig & Şevin Yeltekin, 2012. "How Does the US Government Finance Fiscal Shocks?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 69-104, January.
    5. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, February.
    6. George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 1997. "Accounting for the federal government's cost of funds," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jul, pages 18-28.
    7. Bohn, Henning, 1992. "Budget deficits and government accounting," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-83, December.
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    13. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 2011. "Using inflation to erode the US public debt," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 524-541.
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    15. Cox, W. Michael & Hirschhorn, Eric, 1983. "The market value of U.S. government debt; Monthly, 1942-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 261-272.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Holding period returns; capital gains; inflation; growth; debt- GDP ratio; government budget constraint;

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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