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Public debt and aggregate risk

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  • Desbonnet, Audrey
  • Kankanamge, Sumudu

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the importance of aggregate fluctuations for the assessment of the optimal level of public debt in an incomplete markets economy. We start by building a steady state model in which households are only subject to uninsurable idiosyncratic risk and evaluate the optimal level of public debt. We then augment the model to allow for aggregate risk and measure the impact on the optimal level. We show that the cyclical behavior of the economy has a quantitative impact on this level that can be decomposed into the effects of the aggregate productivity shock and the cyclicality of unemployment. Moreover, we find that matching wealth distribution statistics substantially changes the optimal level of public debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Desbonnet, Audrey & Kankanamge, Sumudu, 2016. "Public debt and aggregate risk," TSE Working Papers 16-658, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:30492
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dieppe, Alistair & Mourinho Félix, Ricardo & Marchiori, Luca & Grech, Owen & Albani, Maria & Kulikov, Dmitry & Papadopoulou, Niki & Sideris, Dimitris & Irac, Delphine & Gordo Mora, Esther & Vogel, Edg, 2015. "Public debt, population ageing and medium-term growth," Occasional Paper Series 165, European Central Bank.
    2. Javier Andrés & Javier J. Pérez & Juan A. Rojas, 2017. "Implicit public debt thresholds: an empirical exercise for the case of Spain," Working Papers 1701, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    3. Petia Topalova & Dan Nyberg, 2010. "What Level of Public Debt Could India Target?," IMF Working Papers 10/7, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Zhang, Yuewen, 2010. "Sovereign Risk Management in Recession: The Cases of Sweden and China," MPRA Paper 23364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:ecb:ecbops:2014165 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public debt; aggregate risk; precautionary saving; credit constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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