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The Cost Efficiency of UK Debt Management: A Recursive Modelling Approach

This paper presents an empirical analysis of the efficiency of the UK debt management authorities' (DMA) behaviour from a cost minimisation perspective over the period January 1985 to March 1995. During this period, the maturity structure of the government's bond portfolio was subject to frequent fine-tuning, aimed principally at lowering interest costs. The authors examine the efficiency of the DMA's behaviour from a cost minimisation perspective. Using a bi-variate version of the recursive modelling procedure applied to forecasting stock returns by Pesaran and Timmermann (1995, 2000), it is shown that bond returns are forecastable but that the predictive power of macroeconomic variables is time-dependent. The impact of adjusting the bond portfolio in response to these forecasts is simulated. The simulated average interest costs are lower than those resulting from the DMA's actual real-time behaviour. However, a substantial reduction in interest costs requires large monthly changes in the portfolio's maturity structure.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0005.

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Date of creation: May 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0005
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  1. Andrei Shleifer ad Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1725, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  3. Allan Timmermann & M. Hashem Pesaran, 1999. "A Recursive Modelling Approach to Predicting UK Stock Returns," FMG Discussion Papers dp322, Financial Markets Group.
  4. Wallace, Neil, 1981. "A Modigliani-Miller Theorem for Open-Market Operations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 267-74, June.
  5. Ryan Sullivan & Allan Timmermann & Halbert White, 1999. "Data-Snooping, Technical Trading Rule Performance, and the Bootstrap," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1647-1691, October.
  6. Pesaran, H.M. & Potter, S.M., 1995. "A Floor and Ceiling Model of U.S. Output," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9407, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Pesaran, M.H. & Timmermann, A., 1990. "A Simple, Non-Parametric Test Of Predictive Performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9021, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. 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.
  9. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
  10. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "Tax Smoothing with Financial Instruments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1217-30, December.
  11. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  12. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1995. " Predictability of Stock Returns: Robustness and Economic Significance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1201-28, September.
  13. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
  14. Boothe, Paul & Reid, Bradford, 1992. "Debt Management Objectives for a Small Open Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(1), pages 43-60, February.
  15. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Optimal Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 5327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Timmermann, Allan G., 1994. "A generalization of the non-parametric Henriksson-Merton test of market timing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 1-7.
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