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Public Debt Targeting An Application to the Caribbean

  • International Monetary Fund

This paper proposes a fiscal policy framework we call Public Debt Targeting. The framework seeks to smooth primary spending over the business cycle while remaining consistent with public debt sustainability. Under the proposed framework, a government announces a commitment to a public debt band trajectory over the medium term, while sequentially announcing primary expenditures for the next budget cycle, which are determined recursively based on the history of shocks. Public debt targeting differs from a structural balance rule in that it internalizes the effect of the deterioration in creditworthiness from fiscal deficits and public debt accumulation, which tend to affect sovereign spreads, interest rates, exchange rates, and economic activity. The proposed framework is applied to Caribbean economies, which in general show high levels of public debt and procyclical primary expenditure.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 11/203.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/203
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  1. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Evan Tanner, 2003. "Fiscal Rules and Countercyclical Policy; Frank Ramsey Meets Gramm-Rudman-Hollings," IMF Working Papers 03/220, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1998. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging-Market Debt: Fundamentals or Market Sentiment?," NBER Working Papers 6408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  5. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Aizenman, Joshua & Hausmann, Ricardo, 2000. "The impact of inflation on budgetary discipline," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 425-449, December.
  7. Bennett Sutton & Luis Catão, 2002. "Sovereign Defaults; The Role of Volatility," IMF Working Papers 02/149, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Chuhan, Punam & Claessens, Stijn & Mamingi, Nlandu, 1998. "Equity and bond flows to Latin America and Asia: the role of global and country factors," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 439-463, April.
  9. Berg, Andrew & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1988. "The debt crisis structural explanations of country performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-306, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1998. "On crises, contagion, and confusion," MPRA Paper 13709, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Vegh, 2004. "When it Rains, it Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Working Papers 10780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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