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Managing the Public Debt in Fiscal Stabilizations: the Evidence

  • Alessandro Missale
  • Francesco Giavazzi
  • Pierpaolo Benigno

This paper provides evidence on the behavior of public debt managers during fiscal stabilizations in OECD countries over the last two decades. We find that debt maturity tends to lengthen the more credible is the program, the lower is the long-term interest rate and the higher is the volatility of short-term interest rates. We show that this debt issuing strategy is consistent with optimal debt management if information bewteen the government and private investors is asymmetric, as it is usually the case at the outset of a stabilization attempt when private investors may lack full confidence in the announced budget cuts.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 118.

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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:118
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  1. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "A positive theory of foreign currency debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 273-292, November.
  2. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Alessandro Prati & Guido Tabellini, 1989. "Public Confidence and Debt Management: A Model and A Case Study of Italy," NBER Working Papers 3135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Missale, Alessandro & Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1994. "The Debt Burden and Debt Maturity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 309-19, March.
  5. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," NBER Working Papers 5031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Optimal Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 5327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1989. "Confidence Crises and Public Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 2926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  9. Manmohan S. Kumar & Pablo Emilio Guidotti, 1991. "Domestic Public Debt of Externally Indebted Countries," IMF Occasional Papers 80, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1991. "Credibility and Stabilization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 837-50, August.
  11. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "Tax Smoothing with Financial Instruments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1217-30, December.
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