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Modelling Long Bonds - The Case of Optimal Fiscal Policy

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

Abstract

We show how to model portfolio models in the presence of long bonds. Specifically we study optimal fiscal policy under incomplete markets where the government issues bonds of maturity N > 1. Assuming the existence of long bonds introduces an additional intertemporal mechanism that makes taxes more volatile in order to achieve lower debt management costs. In other words, fiscal policy is secondary to debt management. Modelling optimal policy with long term bonds is computationally demanding because of the promises made to cut future taxes. The longer the maturity of bonds the more promises need to be monitored and the larger the state space. We consider three means of overcoming this problem - a computational method using the “condensed PEA”, an approximation whereby long bonds are modelled as a sequence of geometrically declining coupons and a model of independent powers where the fiscal authority and interest rate setting authority are separate. We compare the accuracy and properties of solutions across these three approaches and examine how the properties of optimal fiscal policy differ in the case of long bonds compared to one period debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Faraglia, Elisa & Marcet, Albert & Scott, Andrew, 2014. "Modelling Long Bonds - The Case of Optimal Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 9965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9965
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cristina Arellano & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2012. "Default and the Maturity Structure in Sovereign Bonds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 187-232.
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    5. Faraglia, Elisa & Marcet, Albert & Scott, Andrew, 2010. "In search of a theory of debt management," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 821-836, October.
    6. Elisa Faraglia & Albert Marcet & Andrew Scott, 2008. "Fiscal Insurance and Debt Management in OECD Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 363-386, March.
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    12. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
    13. Yves Nosbusch, 2008. "Interest Costs and the Optimal Maturity Structure Of Government Debt," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 477-498, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Tiago Berriel & Rodrigo Abreu, 2015. "Long Term Debt and Credit Crisis in a Liquidity Constrained Economy," Textos para discussão 644, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt Management; Fiscal Policy; Government Debt; Maturity Structure; Tax Smoothing; Yield Curve;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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