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Jel Classification:H63 

Working Paper
Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Default under Incomplete Markets

How are the optimal tax and debt policies affected if the government has the option to default on its debt? We address this question from a normative perspective in an economy with noncontingent government debt, domestic default and labor taxes. On one hand, default prevents the government from incurring future tax distortions that would come along with the service of the debt. On the other hand, default risk gives rise to endogenous credit limits that hinder the government's ability to smooth taxes. We characterize the fiscal policy and show how the option to default alters the near-unit ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1297

Working Paper
Distributional Incentives in an Equilibrium Model of Domestic Sovereign Default

Europe?s debt crisis resembles historical episodes of outright default on domestic public debt about which little research exists. This paper proposes a theory of domestic sovereign default based on distributional incentives affecting the welfare of risk-averse debt and non-debtholders. A utilitarian government cannot sustain debt if default is costless. If default is costly, debt with default risk is sustainable, and debt falls as the concentration of debt ownership rises. A government favoring bondholders can also sustain debt, with debt rising as ownership becomes more concentrated. These ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-23

Working Paper
Selective Sovereign Defaults

Governments issue debt both domestically and abroad. This heterogeneity introduces the possibility for governments to operate selective defaults that discriminate across investors. Using a novel dataset on the legal jurisdiction of sovereign defaults that distinguishes between defaults under domestic law and default under foreign law, we show that selectiveness is the norm and that imports, credit, and output dynamics are different around different types of default. Domestic defaults are associated with contractions of credit and are more likely in countries with smaller credit markets. In ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1239

Working Paper
Optimal Time-Consistent Taxation with Default

We study optimal time-consistent distortionary taxation when the repayment of government debt is not enforceable. The government taxes labor income or issues noncontingent debt in order to finance an exogenous stream of stochastic government expenditures. The government can repudiate its debt subject to some default costs, thereby introducing some state-contingency to debt. We are motivated by the fact that domestic sovereign default is an empirically relevant phenomenon, as Reinhart and Rogoff (2011) demonstrated. Optimal policy is characterized by two opposing incentives: an incentive to ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2017-12

Working Paper
Optimal time-consistent government debt maturity

The current literature on a government's optimal debt maturity structure contends that by purchasing short-term assets and selling long-term debt, it is possible to fully insulate the economy against fiscal shocks. The required short and long positions are large relative to GDP and constant. The market value of debt adjusts automatically and the constant debt positions and fluctuating bond prices insulate against potential shocks. However, achieving the goal of averting future shocks depends on the government perfectly committing to the future fiscal policy, for without this sustained ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-4

Working Paper
Domestic Debt and Sovereign Defaults

This paper examines how domestic holdings of government debt affect sovereign default risk and government debt management. I develop a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with both external and domestic debt that endogenously generates output contraction upon default. Domestic holdings of government debt weaken investors' balance sheets and induce a contraction of credit and output upon default. I calibrate the model to the Argentinean economy and show that the model reproduces key empirical moments. Introducing domestic debt also yields relevant normative implications. While ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1153

Working Paper
Avoiding Sovereign Default Contagion: A Normative Analysis

Should debtor countries support each other during sovereign debt crises? We answer this question through the lens of a two-country sovereign-default model that we calibrate to the euro-area periphery. First, we look at cross-country bailouts. We find that whenever agents anticipate their existence, bailouts induce moral hazard an reduce welfare. Second, we look at the borrowing choices of a global central borrower. We find that it borrows less than individual governments and, as such, defaults become less frequent and welfare increases. Finally, we show that central borrower's policies can be ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1275

Working Paper
Optimal Fiscal Policy with Recursive Preferences

I study the implications of recursive utility, a popular preference specification in macrofinance, for the design of optimal fiscal policy. Standard Ramsey tax-smoothing prescriptions are substantially altered. The planner overinsures by taxing less in bad times and more in good times, mitigating the effects of shocks. At the intertemporal margin, there is a novel incentive for introducing distortions that can lead to an ex-ante capital subsidy. Overall, optimal policy calls for a much stronger use of debt returns as a fiscal absorber, leading to the conclusion that actual fiscal policy is ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2013-07

Working Paper
Optimal Domestic (and External) Sovereign Default

Infrequent but turbulent episodes of outright sovereign default on domestic creditors are considered a ?forgotten history? in macroeconomics. We propose a heterogeneous- agents model in which optimal debt and default on domestic and foreign creditors are driven by distributional incentives and endogenous default costs due to value of debt for self-insurance, liquidity, and risk-sharing. The government?s aim to redistribute resources across agents and through time in response to uninsurable shocks produces a rich dynamic feedback mechanism linking debt issuance, the distribution of government ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-4

Report
Direct purchases of U.S. Treasury securities by Federal Reserve banks

Until 1935, Federal Reserve Banks from time to time purchased short-term securities directly from the United States Treasury to facilitate Treasury cash management operations. The authority to undertake such purchases provided a robust safety net that ensured Treasury could meet its obligations even in the event of an unforeseen depletion of its cash balances. Congress prohibited direct purchases in 1935, but subsequently provided a limited wartime exemption in 1942. The exemption was renewed from time to time following the conclusion of the war but ultimately was allowed to expire in 1981. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 684

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Garbade, Kenneth D. 7 items

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