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Sovereign Debt Maturity and Debt-to GDP Dynamics in Six Euro Area Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Juan Equiza Goni

At a time when debt-to-GDP ratios are closely monitored in the Euro area, thispaper generates a set of stylized facts about sovereign debt and yields. First, Ipresent a new dataset on outstanding debt securities and yields for six EA countries(Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) from 1991 to 2013 that Ibuilt combining different sources. Thus, I can document, for example, that EAdebt duration increased by 2 years, mainly driven by demand. Second, based onthe government budget constraint, I calculate past contributions of returns on debtwith different maturities, inflation and other factors to EA debt-to-GDP changes andcompare them with the US experience. While primary deficits played an importantrole in the latter, returns on debt is the key factor in EA countries, especially whenlarge capital gains were paid to long-term bondholders before the introduction of theEuro. Also, although GDP growth contributions were similar, the EA relied moreon inflation and the US on real output growth. Finally, I estimate that 1% futurepermanently higher inflation would reduce EA debt ratios by 4%, an effect 2.4 timeshigher than the expected change in the US.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/176559/1/2014-44-EQUIZA-sovereign.pdf
File Function: 2014-44-EQUIZA-sovereign
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number ECARES 2014-44.

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Length: 57 p.
Date of creation: Oct 2014
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/176559
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Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be

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  1. Campos, Camila F.S. & Jaimovich, Dany & Panizza, Ugo, 2006. "The unexplained part of public debt," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 228-243, September.
  2. Elisa Faraglia & Albert Marcet & Rigas Oikonomou & Andrew Scott, 2013. "The Impact of Debt Levels and Debt Maturity on Inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 164-192, 02.
  3. Chryssi Giannitsarou & Andrew Scott, 2008. "Inflation Implications of Rising Government Debt," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006, pages 393-442 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
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  10. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 2011. "Using inflation to erode the US public debt," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 524-541.
  11. Lustig, Hanno & Sleet, Christopher & Yeltekin, Sevin, 2008. "Fiscal hedging with nominal assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 710-727, May.
  12. Silvia Merler & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2012. "Who's afraid of sovereign bonds?," Policy Contributions 695, Bruegel.
  13. Jens Hilscher & Alon Raviv & Ricardo Reis, 2014. "Inflating Away the Public Debt? An Empirical Assessment," NBER Working Papers 20339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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, 03.
  15. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Jonathan H. Wright, 2010. "The TIPS Yield Curve and Inflation Compensation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 70-92, January.
  16. Buera, Francisco & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 2004. "Optimal maturity of government debt without state contingent bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 531-554, April.
  17. S M Ali Abbas & Nazim Belhocine & Asmaa El-Ganainy & Mark Horton, 2011. "Historical Patterns and Dynamics of Public Debt—Evidence From a New Database," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(4), pages 717-742, November.
  18. Campos, Camila F.S. & Jaimovich, Dany & Panizza, Ugo, 2006. "The unexplained part of public debt," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 228-243, September.
  19. S. M. Ali Abbas & Laura Blattner & Mark De Broeck & Asmaa A ElGanainy & Malin Hu, 2014. "Sovereign Debt Composition in Advanced Economies; A Historical Perspective," IMF Working Papers 14/162, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Lojsch, Dagmar Hartwig & Rodríguez-Vives, Marta & Slavík, Michal, 2011. "The size and composition of government debt in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 132, European Central Bank.
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