IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/imf/imfwpa/05-57.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Government Debt; A Key Role in Financial Intermediation

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Kumhof
  • Evan C Tanner

Abstract

The literature on optimal fiscal policy finds that highly volatile real returns on government debt, for example through surprise inflation, have very low costs. However, policymakers are almost always very apprehensive of this option. The paper discusses evidence concerning features of developing country financial markets that are missing in existing models, and that may suggest why this policy is considered so costly in practice. Most importantly, domestic banks choose to be highly exposed to government debt because the alternative, private lending, is more risky under existing legal and institutional imperfections. This exposure makes banks and their borrowers vulnerable to the government's debt policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Kumhof & Evan C Tanner, 2005. "Government Debt; A Key Role in Financial Intermediation," IMF Working Papers 05/57, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:05/57
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=17984
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Kumhof, 2004. "Fiscal Crisis Resolution: Taxation versus Inflation," Working Papers 102004, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    2. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 198-230, February.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
    4. 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.
    5. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-1428, November.
    6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carlos A. Végh, 1990. "Interest Rate Policy in a Small Open Economy: The Predetermined Exchange Rates Case," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(4), pages 753-776, December.
    9. Richard J. Herring & Nathporn Chatusripitak, 2000. "The Case of the Missing Market: The Bond Market and Why It Matters for Financial Development," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-08, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    10. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. World Bank & International Monetory Fund, 2001. "Developing Government Bond Markets : A Handbook," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13865.
    14. Michael J. Flemming, 2000. "Financial Market Implications of the Federal Debt Paydown," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 221-252.
    15. Michael J. Fleming, 2001. "Financial market implications of the federal debt paydown," Staff Reports 120, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    16. Vincent Reinhart & Brian Sack, 2000. "The Economic Consequences of Disappearing Government Debt," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 163-220.
    17. George-Marios Angeletos, 2002. "Fiscal Policy with Noncontingent Debt and the Optimal Maturity Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1105-1131.
    18. repec:idb:brikps:34698 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Siu, Henry E., 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 575-607, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation; Government debt; Fiscal policy; Optimal fiscal policy; distortionary taxation; bond; financial institutions; bond markets; financial markets; International Lending and Debt Problems;

    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:imf:imfwpa:05/57. 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: (Jim Beardow) or (Hassan Zaidi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/imfffus.html .

    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 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.

    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.