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Interest Rate Risk and Other Determinants of Post-WWII U.S. Government Debt/GDP Dynamics

  • George J. Hall
  • Thomas J. Sargent

This paper uses the sequence of government budget constraints to motivate estimates of interest payments on the U.S. Federal government debt. We explain why our estimates differ conceptually and quantitatively from those reported by the U.S. government. We use our estimates to account for contributions to the evolution of the debt to GDP ratio made by inflation, growth, and nominal returns paid on debts of different maturities.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15702.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15702.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Publication status: published as George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 2011. "Interest Rate Risk and Other Determinants of Post-WWII US Government Debt/GDP Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 192-214, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15702
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. W. Michael Cox, 1985. "The behavior of Treasury securities; monthly, 1942-1984," Working Papers 8501, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  3. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian & Wright, Jonathan H., 2007. "The U.S. Treasury yield curve: 1961 to the present," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2291-2304, November.
  4. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Daniel F. Waggoner, 1997. "Spline methods for extracting interest rate curves from coupon bond prices," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 97-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Cox, W. Michael & Hirschhorn, Eric, 1983. "The market value of U.S. government debt; Monthly, 1942-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 261-272.
  7. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, 02.
  8. Lustig, Hanno & Sleet, Christopher & Yeltekin, Sevin, 2008. "Fiscal hedging with nominal assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 710-727, May.
  9. Antje Berndt & Hanno Lustig & Sevin Yeltekin, 2010. "How Does the U.S. Government Finance Fiscal Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 16458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bohn, Henning, 1992. "Budget deficits and government accounting," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-83, December.
  11. Michael Cox, W., 1985. "The behavior of treasury securities monthly, 1942-1984," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 227-250, September.
  12. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Equilibrium Yield Curves," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 389-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Boskin, Michael J, 1982. "Federal Government Deficits: Some Myths and Realities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 296-303, May.
  14. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 2011. "Using inflation to erode the US public debt," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 524-541.
  15. Refet S. G├╝rkaynak & Brian Sack & Jonathan H. Wright, 2008. "The TIPS yield curve and inflation compensation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Eisner, Robert & Pieper, Paul J, 1986. "A New View of the Federal Debt and Budget Deficits: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1156-57, December.
  17. Seater, John J., 1981. "The market value of outstanding government debt, 1919-1975," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 85-101.
  18. Butkiewicz, James L., 1983. "The market value of outstanding government debt : Comment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 373-379.
  19. George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 1997. "Accounting for the federal government's cost of funds," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jul, pages 18-28.
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