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Fiscal Implications of Interest Rate Normalization in the United States

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  • Huixin Bi
  • Wenyi Shen
  • Shu-Chun Susan Yang

Abstract

This paper studies the main channels through which interest rate normalization has fiscal implications in the United States. While unexpected inflation reduces the real value of government liabilities, a rising policy rate increases government financing needs because of higher interest payments and lower real bond prices. After an initial decline, the real government debt burden rises even with higher tax revenues in an expansion. Given the current net debt-to-GDP ratio at around 80 percent, interest rate normalization leads to a negligible increase in the sovereign default risk of the U.S. federal government, despite a much higher federal debt-to-GDP ratio than the post-war historical average.

Suggested Citation

  • Huixin Bi & Wenyi Shen & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2019. "Fiscal Implications of Interest Rate Normalization in the United States," IMF Working Papers 2019/090, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2019/090
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    Cited by:

    1. Fotiou, Alexandra & Shen, Wenyi & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2020. "The fiscal state-dependent effects of capital income tax cuts," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    2. Huixin Bi & Wenyi Shen & Shu-Chun S. Yang, 2020. "U.S. Federal Debt Has Increased, but Appears Sustainable for Now," Economic Bulletin, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 1-4, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public debt; Central bank policy rate; Inflation; Capital income tax; Interest payments; WP; interest rate; income tax; monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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