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The Impact of Debt Levels and Debt Maturity on Inflation

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  • Faraglia, Elisa
  • Marcet, Albert
  • Oikonomou, Rigas
  • Scott, Andrew

Abstract

In the context of a sticky price DSGE model subject to government expenditure and preference shocks where governments issue only nominal non-contingent bonds we examine the implications for optimal inflation of changes in the level and average maturity of government debt. We analyse these relationships under two different institutional settings. In one case government pursues optimal monetary and fiscal policy in a coordinated way whereas in the alternative we assume an independent monetary authority that sets interest rates according to a Taylor rule and where the fiscal authority treats bond prices as a given. We identify the main mechanisms through which inflation is affected by debt and debt maturity (a real balance effect and an implicit profit tax) and also study additional channels through which the government achieves fiscal sustainability (tax smoothing, interest rate twisting and endogenous fluctuations in bond prices). In the case of optimal coordinated monetary and fiscal policy we find that the persistence and volatility of inflation depends on the sign, size and maturity structure of government debt. High levels of government debt do lead to higher inflation and longer maturity debt leads to more persistent inflation. However even in the presence of modest price stickiness the role of inflation is minor with the majority of fiscal adjustment achieved through changes in taxes and the primary surplus. However in the case of an independent monetary authority where debt management, monetary policy and fiscal policy are not coordinated then inflation has a much more substantial and more persistent role to play. Inflation is higher, more volatile and more persistent especially in response to preference shocks and plays a major role in achieving fiscal solvency.

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  • Faraglia, Elisa & Marcet, Albert & Oikonomou, Rigas & Scott, Andrew, 2012. "The Impact of Debt Levels and Debt Maturity on Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 9257, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9257
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    2. Boris Chafwehé & Charles de Beauffort & Rigas Oikonomou, 2022. "Optimal Monetary Policy Rules in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2022026, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Leeper, Eric M. & Leith, Campbell & Liu, Ding, 2021. "Optimal Time-Consistent Monetary, Fiscal and Debt Maturity Policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 600-617.
    4. Pintér, Gábor, 2022. "The procyclicality of inflation-linked debt," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 218(C).
    5. Hanana Khan & Maran Marimuthu & Fong-Woon Lai, 2020. "Fiscal Deficit and Its Less Inflationary Sources of Borrowing with the Moderating Role of Political Instability: Evidence from Malaysia," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(1), pages 1-16, January.
    6. Boris Chafwehé & Rigas Oikonomou & Romanos Priftis & Lukas Vogel, 2021. "(Optimal) Monetary Policy with and without Debt," Staff Working Papers 21-5, Bank of Canada.
    7. Galo Nuño & Carlos Thomas, 2015. "Monetary policy and sovereign debt vulnerability," Working Papers 1517, Banco de España.
    8. Guillermo Santos, 2022. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with preference over safe assets," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2022021, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    9. Howard Kung & Gonzalo Morales & Alexandre Corhay, 2017. "Fiscal Discount Rates and Debt Maturity," 2017 Meeting Papers 840, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Equiza-Goñi, Juan, 2016. "Government debt maturity and debt dynamics in euro area countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 292-311.
    11. François Courtoy, 2022. "When Household Heterogeneity Matters Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Medium-Scale TANK Model," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2022009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    12. Wei Dong & Geoffrey Dunbar & Christian Friedrich & Dmitry Matveev & Romanos Priftis & Lin Shao, 2021. "Complementarities Between Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy—Literature Review," Discussion Papers 2021-4, Bank of Canada.
    13. Boris Chafwehe Author-Email: boris.chafwehe@uclouvain.be & Rigas Oikonomou & Romanos Priftis & Lukas Vogel, 2018. "Endogenous forward guidance," Working Paper Research 354, National Bank of Belgium.
    14. Leeper, Eric M. & Zhou, Xuan, 2021. "Inflation’s role in optimal monetary-fiscal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-18.
    15. Boris Chafwehé & Charles de Beauffort & Rigas Oikonomou, 2021. "Debt Management in a World of Fiscal Dominance," JRC Working Papers on Taxation & Structural Reforms 2021-11, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    16. Max Ole Liemen & Olaf Posch, 2022. "FTPL and the Maturity Structure of Government Debt in the New Keynesian Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 9840, CESifo.
    17. Jens Hilscher & Alon Raviv & Ricardo Reis, 2022. "Inflating Away the Public Debt? An Empirical Assessment [Crisis and commitment: Inflation credibility and the vulnerability to sovereign debt crises]," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 35(3), pages 1553-1595.
    18. Boris Chafwehé & François Courtoy, 2021. "Optimal Taxes and Transfers with Household Heterogeneity," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2021009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    19. Scheer, Alexander, 2015. "Debt consolidation with long-term debt," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112874, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Aimola Akingbade U. & Odhiambo Nicholas M., 2020. "Public Debt and Inflation: A Review of International Literature," Folia Oeconomica Stetinensia, Sciendo, vol. 20(1), pages 9-24, June.
    21. Illenin Kondo & Fabrizio Perri & Sewon Hur, 2016. "Inflation, Debt, and Default," 2016 Meeting Papers 1610, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Sewon Hur & Illenin O. Kondo & Fabrizio Perri, 2018. "Real Interest Rates, Inflation, and Default," Staff Report 574, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    23. Galstyan, Vahagn & Velic, Adnan, 2017. "Debt thresholds and real exchange rates: An emerging markets perspective," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 452-470.
    24. Guillermo Santos, 2022. "Optimal fiscal policy and the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2022022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    25. Juan Equiza Goni, 2014. "Sovereign Debt Maturity and Debt-to GDP Dynamics in Six Euro Area Countries," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2014-44, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal insurance; fiscal sustainability; government debt; inflation; interest rates; maturity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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