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Dynamic Efficiency, the Riskless Rate, and Debt Ponzi Games under Uncertainty

  • Olivier J. Blanchard

    (MIT Department of Economics)

  • Philippe Weil

In a dynamically efficient economy, can a government roll its debt forever and avoid the need to raise taxes? In a series of examples of economies with zero growth, this paper shows that such Ponzi games may be infeasible even when the average rate of return on bonds is negative, and may be feasible even when the average rate of return on bonds is positive. The paper then reveals the structure which underlies these examples.

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File URL: http://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/8607/resources/blanchard-weil-be-press.pdf
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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/8607.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Publication status: Published in Advances in Macroeconomics, 2001, vol. 1, pp.1-23
Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/8607
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  1. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Peled, Dan, 1991. "Dominant root characterization of Pareto optimality and the existence of optimal equilibria in stochastic overlapping generations models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 69-83, June.
  2. Chattopadhyay, Subir & Gottardi, Piero, 1999. "Stochastic OLG Models, Market Structure, and Optimality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 21-67, November.
  3. Abel, Andrew B, et al, 1989. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19, January.
  4. Piero Gottardi, 1993. "On Stationary Monetary Equilibria in Overlapping Generations Models with Incomplete Markets," Discussion Paper Serie A 416, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Zilcha, Itzhak, 1991. "Characterizing efficiency in stochastic overlapping generations models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, October.
  6. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "Fiscal Policy in an Endogenous Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1243-59, November.
  7. Wang Yong, 1993. "Stationary Equilibria in an Overlapping Generations Economy with Stochastic Production," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 423-435, December.
  8. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
  9. Bohn, Henning, 1995. "The Sustainability of Budget Deficits in a Stochastic Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 257-71, February.
  10. Gottardi, Piero, 1996. "Stationary Monetary Equilibria in Overlapping Generations Models with Incomplete Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 75-89, October.
  11. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  12. Koda, Keiichi, 1984. "A note on the existence of monetary equilibria in overlapping generations models with storage," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 388-395, December.
  13. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, June.
  14. Bertocchi, Graziella, 1991. "Bubbles and inefficiencies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 117-122, February.
  15. Weil, Philippe, 1987. "Confidence and the Real Value of Money in an Overlapping Generations Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 1-22, February.
  16. Peled, Dan, 1982. "Informational diversity over time and the optimality of monetary equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 255-274, December.
  17. Kocherlakota, N.R., 1990. "Bubbles and Constraints on Debt Accumulation," Working Papers 90-29, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
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