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Fiscal Policy and Debt Management with Incomplete Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Sargent

    (New York University)

  • Mikhail Golosov

    (Princeton University)

  • David Evans

    (University of Oregon)

  • anmol bhandari

    (university of minnesota)

Abstract

A Ramsey planner chooses a distorting tax on labor and manages a portfolio of securities in an environment with incomplete markets. We develop a method that uses second order approximations of the policy functions to the planner’s Bellman equation to obtain expressions for the unconditional and conditional moments of debt and taxes in closed form such as the mean and variance of the invariant distribution as well as the speed of mean reversion. Using this, we establish that asymptotically the planner’s portfolio minimizes an appropriately defined measure of fiscal risk. Our analytic expressions that approximate moments of the invariant distribution can be readily applied to data recording the primary government deficit, aggregate consumption, and returns on traded securities. Applying our theory to U.S. data, we find that an optimal target debt level is negative but close to zero, that the invariant distribution of debt is very dispersed, and that mean reversion is slow.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Sargent & Mikhail Golosov & David Evans & anmol bhandari, 2016. "Fiscal Policy and Debt Management with Incomplete Markets," 2016 Meeting Papers 1284, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:1284
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Karen Kopecky & Richard Suen, 2010. "Finite State Markov-chain Approximations to Highly Persistent Processes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 701-714, July.
    3. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2018. "Countercyclical fiscal policy in a low r∗ world," 2018 Meeting Papers 621, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Kaufmann, Christoph, 2019. "Optimal fiscal substitutes for the exchange rate in monetary unions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 43-62.
    3. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes & Pierre Yared, 2018. "Optimal Fiscal Policy without Commitment: Beyond Lucas-Stokey," NBER Working Papers 24522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Boháček, Radim & Kejak, Michal, 2018. "Optimal government policies in models with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 834-858.
    5. Yongsung Chang & Yena Park, 2017. "Optimal Taxation with Private Insurance," 2017 Meeting Papers 1321, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Fatás, Antonio & Ghosh, Atish & Panizza, Ugo & Presbitero, Andrea, 2019. "The Motives to Borrow," CEPR Discussion Papers 13735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Anastasios Karantounias, 2019. "A dynamic theory of the excess burden of taxation," 2019 Meeting Papers 1356, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Etro, Federico, 2017. "Research in economics and macroeconomics," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 373-383.
    9. 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.
    10. Floriana Cerniglia - Enzo Dia - Andrew Hughes Hallett, 2018. "Fiscal sustainability vs. fiscal stability: tax and debt under entitlement spending," CRANEC - Working Papers del Centro di Ricerche in Analisi economica e sviluppo economico internazionale crn1801, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Centro di Ricerche in Analisi economica e sviluppo economico internazionale (CRANEC).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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