IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Myopic governments and welfare-enhancing debt limits

Listed author(s):
  • Rieth, Malte

This paper studies welfare consequences of a soft borrowing constraint on sovereign debt which is modeled as a proportional fine per unit of debt exceeding some reference value. Debt is the result of myopic fiscal policy where the government is assumed to have a smaller discount factor than the private sector. Due to the absence of lump-sum taxation, debt reduces welfare. The paper shows that the imposition of a soft borrowing constraint, which resembles features of the Stability and Growth Pact and which is taken into account by the policy maker when setting its instruments, prevents excessive borrowing. The constraint can be implemented such as to (i) control the long run level of debt, (ii) prevent debt accumulation, and (iii) induce debt consolidation. In all three cases the constraint enhances welfare and in a welfare ranking these gains outweigh the short run welfare losses of increasing the costs of using debt to smooth taxes over the business cycle. JEL Classification: H3, H63, E6

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1308.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1308.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111308
Contact details of provider: Postal:
60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Bi, Huixin, 2012. "Sovereign default risk premia, fiscal limits, and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 389-410.
  2. Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Gregory Mankiw, N., 1999. "Government debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1615-1669 Elsevier.
  3. Jonsson, Magnus & Klein, Paul, 2003. "Tax distortions in Sweden and the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 711-729, August.
  4. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-1097, December.
  5. Klaus Adam & Michael Grill, 2017. "Optimal Sovereign Default," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 128-164, January.
  6. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2003. "Closing small open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 163-185, October.
  7. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
  8. Forni, Lorenzo & Gerali, Andrea & Pisani, Massimiliano, 2010. "The macroeconomics of fiscal consolidations in euro area countries," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1791-1812, September.
  9. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
  10. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
  11. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
  12. Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-345.
  13. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from the U.S. States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1046-1059, November.
  14. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-487, June.
  15. Emmanuel Farhi, 2010. "Capital Taxation and Ownership When Markets Are Incomplete," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 908-948.
  16. David R. Stockman, 2001. "Balanced-Budget Rules: Welfare Loss and Optimal Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 438-459, July.
  17. Adam, Klaus, 2011. "Government debt and optimal monetary and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 57-74, January.
  18. Neumeyer, Pablo A. & Perri, Fabrizio, 2005. "Business cycles in emerging economies: the role of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 345-380, March.
  19. 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.
  20. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Balanced-Budget Rules, Distortionary Taxes, and Aggregate Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 976-1000, October.
  21. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
  22. Irina Yakadina & Michael Kumhof, 2007. "Politically Optimal Fiscal Policy," IMF Working Papers 07/68, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Beetsma, Roel & Ribeiro, Marcos Poplawski & Schabert, Andreas, 2008. "A Comparison of Debt and Primary-deficit Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 6897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Eric M. Engen & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2005. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 83-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Gale, William G. & Orszag, Peter R., 2003. "Economic Effects of Sustained Budget Deficits," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(3), pages 463-485, September.
  26. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Thomas Laubach, 2009. "New Evidence on the Interest Rate Effects of Budget Deficits and Debt," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 858-885, 06.
  28. R. Glenn Hubbard & Eric M. Engen, 2004. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," AEI Economics Working Papers 50018, American Enterprise Institute.
  29. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  30. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from US States," CEPR Discussion Papers 1088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111308. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.