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Debt Maturity: Is Long-Term Debt Optimal?

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  • Laura Alfaro
  • Fabio Kanczuk

Abstract

We model and calibrate the arguments in favor and against short-term and long-term debt. These arguments broadly include: maturity premium, sustainability, and service smoothing. We use a dynamic equilibrium model with tax distortions and government outlays uncertainty, and model maturity as the fraction of debt that needs to be rolled over every period. In the model, the benefits of defaulting are tempered by higher future interest rates. We then calibrate our artificial economy and solve for the optimal debt maturity for Brazil as an example of a developing country and the U.S. as an example of a mature economy. We obtain that the calibrated costs from defaulting on long-term debt more than offset costs associated with short-term debt. Therefore, short-term debt implies higher welfare levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Alfaro & Fabio Kanczuk, 2007. "Debt Maturity: Is Long-Term Debt Optimal?," NBER Working Papers 13119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13119 Note: IFM PE
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando A. Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2013. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 67-100, January.
    2. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Martin Uribe, 2011. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2530-2561, October.
    3. Luis Opazo & Claudio Raddatz & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2015. "Institutional Investors and Long-Term Investment: Evidence from Chile," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(3), pages 479-522.
    4. Basil Dalamagas & Stefanos Tantos, 2016. "Optimal Versus Actual Maturity of Government Debt: The Case of Greece," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 66(3), pages 25-52, July-Sept.
    5. Opazo, Luis & Raddatz, Claudio & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2009. "The long and the short of emerging market debt," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5056, The World Bank.
    6. Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 117-125, September.
    7. Samia Omrane, 2012. "An Analysis of Exchange Rate Risk Exposure Related to the Public Debt Portfolio of Tunisia: Beyond VaR Approach," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 59(1), pages 59-87, March.
    8. Javier J. Pérez & Rocío Prieto, 2014. "The structure of sub-natural public debt: Liquidity vs credit risk," Working Papers 1403, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    9. Nikolai Stähler, 2013. "Recent Developments In Quantitative Models Of Sovereign Default," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 605-633, September.
    10. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2010. "Nominal versus indexed debt: A quantitative horse race," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1706-1726, December.
    11. Jun I Kim, 2015. "Debt Maturity; Does It Matter for Fiscal Space?," IMF Working Papers 15/257, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Masahiro Kawai & Shinji Takagi, 2010. "A Survey of the Literature on Managing Capital Inflows," Chapters,in: Managing Capital Flows, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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