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The Backing of Government Debt and the Price Level


  • CASTRO, Rui
  • De RESENDE, Carlos
  • RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco


This paper studies the interdependence between fiscal and monetary policies, and their joint role in the determination of the price level. The government is characterized by a long-run fiscal policy rule whereby a given fraction of the outstanding debt, say d, is backed by the present discounted value of current and future primary surpluses. The remaining debt is backed by seigniorage revenue. The parameter d characterizes the interdependence between fiscal and monetary authorities. It is shown that in a standard monetary economy, this policy rule implies that the price level depends not only on the money stock, but also on the proportion of debt that is backed with money. Empirical estimates of d are obtained for OECD countries using data on nominal consumption, monetary base, and debt. Results indicate that debt plays only a minor role in the determination of the price level in these economies. Estimates of d correlate well with institutional measures of central bank independence.

Suggested Citation

  • CASTRO, Rui & De RESENDE, Carlos & RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco, 2003. "The Backing of Government Debt and the Price Level," Cahiers de recherche 16-2003, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:16-2003

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Goohoon Kwon & Lavern McFarlane & Wayne Robinson, 2009. "Public Debt, Money Supply, and Inflation: A Cross-Country Study," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 476-515, August.
    2. Kilian Bizer & Zulia Gubaydullina & Hazim Rahahleh & Werner Sesselmeier, 2007. "FTPL-Perspective on Tradable Deficit Permits in the EMU," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 259-267, September.
    3. Renate Ohr & André Schmidt, 2006. "Handelbare Verschuldungsrechte zur Sicherung fiskalischer Stabilität in der Währungsunion?," Departmental Discussion Papers 128, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Ricardian/Non-Ricardian regimes; policy rules; central banking;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • 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

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