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Globalization and International Public Finance

  • Michael Kremer
  • Paras Mehta

This paper examines the effect of reduced transaction costs in the international trading of assets on the ability of governments to issue debt. We examine a model in which governments care about the welfare of their citizens, and thus are more inclined to default if a large proportion of their debt is held by foreigners. Reductions in transaction costs make it easier for domestic citizens to share risk by selling debt to foreigners. This may increase tendencies for governments to default, and thus raise their cost of credit and reduce welfare. We find that even in the absence of transaction costs, home bias in placement of government debt may persist, because in the presence of default risk the return on government debt is correlated with the tax burden required to pay the debt. Asset inequality may reduce this home bias, and by increasing foreign ownership, increase incentives for default. Finally, if foreign creditors are less risk averse than domestic creditors, there may be one equilibrium in which domestic creditors hold the asset and default risk is low, and another in which foreign creditors hold the asset and default risk is high.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7575.

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Date of creation: Mar 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7575
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  1. Bohn, Henning, 1991. "Time consistency of monetary policy in the open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 249-266, May.
  2. Domowitz, Ian & Glen, Jack & Madhavan, Ananth, 1997. " Market Segmentation and Stock Prices: Evidence from an Emerging Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1059-85, July.
  3. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, June.
  4. Scott Freeman & Guido Tabellini, 1991. "The Optimality of Nominal Contracts," NBER Technical Working Papers 0110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1987. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1419-31, November.
  6. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "Tax Smoothing with Financial Instruments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1217-30, December.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  8. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  9. repec:fth:harver:1463 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  11. Harold L. Cole & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1996. "Reputation spillover across relationships: reviving reputation models of debt," Staff Report 209, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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