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Financial globalization, inequality, and the raising of public debt

  • Marina Azzimonti
  • Eva de Francisco
  • Vincenzo Quadrini

During the last three decades, the stock of government debt has increased in most developed countries. During the same period, we also observe a significant liberalization of international financial markets and an increase in income inequality in several industrialized countries. In this paper we propose a multicountry political economy model with incomplete markets and endogenous government borrowing and show that governments choose higher levels of public debt when financial markets become internationally integrated and inequality increases. We also conduct an empirical analysis using OECD data and find that the predictions of the theoretical model are supported by the empirical results.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 12-6.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:12-6
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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-93, March.
  2. Albanesi, Stefania & Sleet, Christopher, 2003. "Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Private Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 4006, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Zheng Song, 2009. "Rotten Parents and Disciplined Children: A Politico-Economic Theory of Public Expenditure and Debt," 2009 Meeting Papers 94, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2001. "Optimal indirect and capital taxation," Staff Report 293, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador, 2009. "Growth in the Shadow of Expropriation," Discussion Papers 08-051, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  6. Emannauel Farhi & Ivan Werning, 2006. "Capital Taxation," 2006 Meeting Papers 455, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Ilzetzki, Ethan, 2011. "Rent-seeking distortions and fiscal procyclicality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 30-46, September.
  8. Dean Corbae, 2007. "Politico-Economic Consequences of Rising Wage Inequality," 2007 Meeting Papers 129, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela & Vegh, Carlos, 2004. "When it rains, it pours: Procyclical capital flows and macroeconomic policies," MPRA Paper 13883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Azzimonti, Marina & de Francisco, Eva & Krusell, Per, 2008. "Production subsidies and redistribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 73-99, September.
  12. Ricardo J. Caballero & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Future Rent-Seeking and Current Public Savings," NBER Working Papers 14417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2003. "Commitment and the Adoption of a Common Currency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 119-142, February.
  14. 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.
  15. George M von Furstenberg, 2005. "Global Capital Markets, Integration, Crisis and Growth," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(3), pages 591-593, September.
  16. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1676-1706, August.
  17. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf & Dan Peled, 2008. "Is It Is Or Is It Ain'T My Obligation? Regional Debt In A Fiscal Federation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1469-1504, November.
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