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

  • M. Hashem Pesaran

This paper presents an empirical analysis of the efficiency of the UK debt management authorities's (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 finetuning, aimed principally at lowering interest costs. We 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), we show that bond returns are forecastable but the predictive power of macroeconomic variables is time dependent. We simulate the impact of adjusting the bond portfolio in response to our forecasts. 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 CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 346.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_346
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  1. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
  2. Wallace, Neil, 1981. "A Modigliani-Miller Theorem for Open-Market Operations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 267-74, June.
  3. Pesaran, M. H. & Timmermann, A., 1996. "A Recursive Modelling Approach to Predicting UK Stock Returns'," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9625, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Holmstrom, B & Tirole, J, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Working papers 96-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1992. "A Simple Nonparametric Test of Predictive Performance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(4), pages 561-65, October.
  6. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," NBER Working Papers 5167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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. Sullivan, Ryan & Timmermann, Allan G & White, Halbert, 1998. "Data-Snooping, Technical Trading Rule Performance and the Bootstrap," CEPR Discussion Papers 1976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "Tax Smoothing with Financial Instruments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1217-30, December.
  15. 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.
  16. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Optimal Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 5327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
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