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Fiscal Hedging and the Yield Curve

Author

Listed:
  • Hanno Lustig
  • Christopher Sleet
  • Sevin Yeltekin

Abstract

We identify a novel, fiscal hedging motive that helps to explain why governments issue more expensive, long-term debt. We analyze optimal fiscal policy in an economy with distortionary labor income taxes, nominal rigidities and nominal debt of various maturities. The government in our model can smooth labor tax rates by changing the real return it pays on its outstanding liabilities. These changes require state contingent inflation or adjustments in the nominal term structure. In the presence of nominal pricing rigidities and a cash in advance constraint, these changes are themselves distortionary. We show that long term nominal debt can help a government hedge fiscal shocks by spreading out and delaying the distortions associated with increases in nominal interest rates over the maturity of the outstanding long-term debt. After a positive spending shock, the government raises the yield curve and steepens it.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanno Lustig & Christopher Sleet & Sevin Yeltekin, 2005. "Fiscal Hedging and the Yield Curve," NBER Working Papers 11687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11687 Note: EFG ME AP PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Isabel Correia & Juan Pablo Nicolini & Pedro Teles, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Equivalence Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 141-170, February.
    2. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 129-152, Summer.
    3. Missale, Alessandro & Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1994. "The Debt Burden and Debt Maturity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 309-319, March.
    4. Qiang Dai & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "Fiscal Policy and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 11574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kamihigashi, Takashi, 2003. "Necessity of transversality conditions for stochastic problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 140-149, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Sevin Yeltekin & Hanno Lustig & Chris Sleet, 2004. "Does the US government hedge against government expenditure risk?," 2004 Meeting Papers 48, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. 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.
    9. Fernando Lefort & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2002. "Indexation, Inflation and Monetary Policy: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Fernando Lefort & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Serie (ed.), Indexation, Inflation and MOnetary Policy, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 1, pages 001-018 Central Bank of Chile.
    10. 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.
    11. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
    12. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Optimal Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 5327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cristina Arellano & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2012. "Default and the Maturity Structure in Sovereign Bonds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 187-232.
    2. Yili Chien & Harold Cole & Hanno Lustig, 2011. "A Multiplier Approach to Understanding the Macro Implications of Household Finance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 199-234.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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