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Public Debt as Private Liquidity: Optimal Policy

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  • George-Marios Angeletos
  • Fabrice Collard
  • Harris Dellas

Abstract

We study optimal policy in an economy in which public debt is used as collateral or liquidity buffer. Issuing more public debt raises welfare by easing the underlying financial friction; but this easing lowers the liquidity premium and increases the government’s cost of borrowing. These considerations, which are absent in the basic Ramsey paradigm, help pin down a unique, long-run level of public debt. They require a front-loaded tax response to government-spending shocks, instead of tax smoothing. And they explain why a financial recession, more than a traditional one, makes government borrowing cheaper, optimally supporting larger fiscal stimuli.

Suggested Citation

  • George-Marios Angeletos & Fabrice Collard & Harris Dellas, 2016. "Public Debt as Private Liquidity: Optimal Policy," NBER Working Papers 22794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22794
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. "Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-1366, September.
    2. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
    3. Gilles Saint‐Paul, 2005. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: the Role of Financial Intermediation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 612-629, August.
    4. Gertler, Mark & Karadi, Peter, 2011. "A model of unconventional monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-34, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andolfatto, David & Martin, Fernando M., 2018. "Monetary policy and liquid government debt," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 183-199.
    2. Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2018. "Nonfinancial debt and economic growth in euro-area countries," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 17-37.
    3. Antonio Antunes & Valerio Ercolani, 2020. "Public debt expansions and the dynamics of the household borrowing constraint," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 1-32, July.
    4. Grobéty, Mathieu, 2018. "Government debt and growth: The role of liquidity," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 1-22.
    5. Bayer, Christian & Born, Benjamin & Luetticke, Ralph, 2020. "The Liquidity Channel of Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 14883, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Gomez-Gonzalez, Patricia, 2019. "Public debt structure and liquidity provision," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 51-60.
    7. Etienne Farvaque & Hira Iqbal & Nicolas Ooghe, 2020. "Health politics? Determinants of US states’ reactions to COVID-19," Post-Print hal-03128875, HAL.
    8. Azzimonti, Marina & Yared, Pierre, 2019. "The optimal public and private provision of safe assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 126-144.
    9. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Robatto, Roberto, 2019. "Private money creation, liquidity crises, and government interventions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 42-58.
    10. Berentsen, Aleksander & Waller, Christopher, 2018. "Liquidity premiums on government debt and the fiscal theory of the price level," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 173-182.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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