IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/cesptp/halshs-00175877.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public debt and aggregate risk

Author

Listed:
  • Audrey Desbonnet

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Vienna [Vienna])

  • Sumudu Kankanamge

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

This paper assesses the long-run optimal level of public debt in a framework where aggregate fluctuations are taken into account. Households are subject to both aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks and the market structure prevents them from perfectly insuring against risk. We find that the long-run optimal level of public debt is generally higher in a setting embedding aggregate fluctuations than in a setting without. Aggregate fluctuations modify both the cost and the motive for precautionary saving. Higher levels of public debt, by effectively reducing the cost of precautionary saving, help agents to smooth consumption when they face price and employment fluctuations.

Suggested Citation

  • Audrey Desbonnet & Sumudu Kankanamge, 2008. "Public debt and aggregate risk," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00175877, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00175877
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00175877v2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00175877v2/document
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
    2. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
    3. Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Sahin, Aysegul, 2006. "Costs of business cycles for unskilled workers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2179-2193, November.
    4. Krusell, Per & Smith, Anthony A., 1997. "Income And Wealth Heterogeneity, Portfolio Choice, And Equilibrium Asset Returns," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 387-422, June.
    5. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
    6. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
    7. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
    8. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-652, August.
    9. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
    10. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    11. Cagetti, Marco & De Nardi, Mariacristina, 2008. "Wealth Inequality: Data And Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 285-313, September.
    12. Martin Floden & Jesper Lindé, 2001. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the United States and Sweden: Is There a Role for Government Insurance?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 406-437, July.
    13. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-353, July.
    14. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "Public Debt as Private Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 382-388, May.
    15. Paul Klein & JosÈ-VÌctor RÌos-Rull, 2003. "Time-consistent optimal fiscal policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1217-1245, November.
    16. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    17. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Education and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 3838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Grechyna, Daryna, 2016. "Debt And Deficit Fluctuations In A Time-Consistent Setup," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(7), pages 1771-1794, October.
    19. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2009. "Revisiting the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 393-402, July.
    20. 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.
    21. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
    22. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
    23. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 2001. "The welfare cost of business cycles revisited: Finite lives and cyclical variation in idiosyncratic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1311-1339.
    24. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
    25. Nicola Fuchs-Schundeln & Matthias Schundeln, 2005. "Precautionary Savings and Self-Selection - Evidence from the German Reunification "Experiment"," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2069, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    26. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7991 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Krusell, Per, 2002. "Time-consistent redistribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 755-769, May.
    28. 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.
    29. Den Haan, Wouter J., 1997. "Solving Dynamic Models With Aggregate Shocks And Heterogeneous Agents," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 355-386, June.
    30. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
    31. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 245-272, January.
    32. 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.
    33. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Growth and Welfare Effects of Business Cycles in Economies with Idiosyncratic Human Capital Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 846-868, October.
    34. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Education and Unemployment of Women," NBER Working Papers 3837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    36. Topel, Robert, 1993. "What Have We Learned from Empirical Studies of Unemployment and Turnover?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 110-115, May.
    37. Klein Paul & Quadrini Vincenzo & Rios-Rull Jose-Victor, 2005. "Optimal Time-Consistent Taxation with International Mobility Of Capital," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, June.
    38. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Marco Cozzi, 2019. "Has the Canadian Public Debt Been Too High? A Quantitative Assessment," Department Discussion Papers 1901, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
    2. Dieppe, Alistair & Mourinho Félix, Ricardo & Marchiori, Luca & Grech, Owen & Albani, Maria & Lalouette, Laure & Kulikov, Dmitry & Papadopoulou, Niki & Sideris, Dimitris & Irac, Delphine & Gordo Mora, , 2015. "Public debt, population ageing and medium-term growth," Occasional Paper Series 165, European Central Bank.
    3. repec:ecb:ecbops:2014165 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Javier Andrés & Javier J. Pérez & Juan A. Rojas, 2017. "Implicit public debt thresholds: an empirical exercise for the case of Spain," Working Papers 1701, Banco de España.
    5. Zhang, Yuewen, 2010. "Sovereign Risk Management in Recession: The Cases of Sweden and China," MPRA Paper 23364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Petia Topalova & Dan Nyberg, 2010. "What Level of Public Debt Could India Target?," IMF Working Papers 2010/007, International Monetary Fund.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kitao, Sagiri, 2010. "Short-run fiscal policy: Welfare, redistribution and aggregate effects in the short and long-run," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2109-2125, October.
    2. Olivier Allais & Yann Algan & Edouard Challe & Xavier Ragot, 2020. "The Welfare Cost of Inflation Risk under Imperfect Insurance," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 138, pages 1-20.
    3. Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Sahin, Aysegul, 2006. "Costs of business cycles for unskilled workers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2179-2193, November.
    4. Krueger, D. & Mitman, K. & Perri, F., 2016. "Macroeconomics and Household Heterogeneity," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 843-921, Elsevier.
    5. Marco Cozzi, 2012. "Risk Aversion Heterogeneity, Risky Jobs And Wealth Inequality," Working Paper 1286, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    6. Yann Algan & Olivier Allais & Edouard Challe & Xavier Ragot, 2016. "The Welfare Cost of Inflation Risk Under Imperfect Insurance," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2016-08, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
    7. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 319-354, May.
    8. Toda, Alexis Akira, 2019. "Wealth distribution with random discount factors," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 101-113.
    9. Michał Gradzewicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2013. "Do We Really Need to Start From Scratch? Economic Theory on Economic Crises," Working Papers 2013-17, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    10. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai, 2013. "Politico-Economic Inequality and the Comovement of Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 565-580, October.
    11. Olivier Allais & Yann Algan & Edouard Challe & Xavier Ragot, 2015. "The Welfare Cost of Inflation Risk Under Imperfect Insurance," Working Papers hal-01169656, HAL.
    12. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai, 2013. "Politico-Economic Inequality and the Comovement of Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 565-580, October.
    13. repec:ecb:ecbops:2014165 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Shuhei Takahashi, 2020. "Time-Varying Wage Risk, Incomplete Markets, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 195-213, July.
    15. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Ayşegül Şahin, 2010. "Labour-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1477-1507.
    16. Dieppe, Alistair & Mourinho Félix, Ricardo & Marchiori, Luca & Grech, Owen & Albani, Maria & Lalouette, Laure & Kulikov, Dmitry & Papadopoulou, Niki & Sideris, Dimitris & Irac, Delphine & Gordo Mora, , 2015. "Public debt, population ageing and medium-term growth," Occasional Paper Series 165, European Central Bank.
    17. Boppart, Timo & Krusell, Per & Mitman, Kurt, 2018. "Exploiting MIT shocks in heterogeneous-agent economies: the impulse response as a numerical derivative," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 68-92.
    18. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto & Zhu, Shenghao, 2015. "The wealth distribution in Bewley economies with capital income risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 489-515.
    19. Joseph G. Altonji & Anthony A. Smith Jr. & Ivan Vidangos, 2013. "Modeling Earnings Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1395-1454, July.
    20. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
    21. Marcet, Albert & Scott, Andrew, 2009. "Debt and deficit fluctuations and the structure of bond markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 473-501, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit constraints; Public debt; aggregate risk; precautionary saving; credit constraints.; Dette publique; risque agrégé; épargne de précaution; contrainte de crédit.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00175877. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: CCSD (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.