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Keywords:public debt 

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

Speech
Update on economic and fiscal conditions in Puerto Rico

Remarks to the Association of Certified Public Accountants of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Speech , Paper 138

Briefing
Public and Private Debt after the Pandemic and Policy Normalization

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, public debt has increased dramatically and private debt seems likely to increase as well. High indebtedness could influence the effectiveness of monetary policy and lead to political pressure for the Federal Reserve to maintain low interest rates for an extended period of time.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue 20-06 , Pages 6

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

Newsletter
The dynamic relationship between global debt and output

Given the ramifications of indebtedness for global growth, researchers and policymakers are keenly interested in the mechanisms underlying the linkages between debt and economic output. In our research, summarized in this article, we find that a debt shock adversely affects future economic output, and the impact is most pronounced in developing countries and in countries with a fixed exchange rate regime. This information and related results from the study are useful for policymakers considering appropriate levels of debt as well as an exchange rate regime that is most conducive to economic ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 457 , Pages 5

Working Paper
History Remembered: Optimal Sovereign Default on Domestic and External Debt

Infrequent but turbulent overt sovereign defaults on domestic creditors are a ?for- gotten history? in macroeconomics. We propose a heterogeneous-agents model in which the government chooses optimal debt and default on domestic and foreign creditors by balancing distributional incentives versus the social value of debt for self-insurance, liquidity, and risk-sharing. A rich feedback mechanism links debt issuance, the distribution of debt holdings, the default decision, and risk premia. Calibrated to Eurozone data, the model is consistent with key long-run and debt-crisis statistics. Defaults ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-31

Working Paper
The Relationship between Debt and Output

In this paper we empirically explore the relationship between debt and output in a panel of 72 countries over the period 1970–2014 using a vector autoregression (VAR). We document two puzzling empirical findings that contrast with what is predicted by a standard small open economy model by Aguiar and Gopinath (2007), where debt and output endogenously respond to total factor productivity (TFP) shocks. First, developing countries’ debt falls after a positive output shock, while the model predicts a debt expansion. Second, output declines in developed and developing countries after a debt ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-30

Working Paper
Decentralization and Overborrowing in a Fiscal Federation

We build an infinite horizon equilibrium model of fiscal federation, where anticipation of transfers from the central government creates incentives for local governments to overborrow. Absent commitment, the central government over-transfers, which distorts the central-local distribution of resources. Applying the model to fiscal decentralization, we find when decentralization widens local governments? fiscal gap, borrowings by both local and central governments rise. Quantitatively, fiscal decentralization accounts for from 19 percent to 40 percent of changes in general government debt in ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2018-9

Working Paper
Identifying Global and National Output and Fiscal Policy Shocks Using a GVAR

The paper contributes to the growing Global VAR (GVAR) literature by showing how global and national shocks can be identified within a GVAR framework. The usefulness of the proposed approach is illustrated in an application to the analysis of the interactions between public debt and real output growth in a multi-country setting, and the results are compared to those obtained from standard single-country VAR analysis. We find that on average (across countries) global shocks explain about one-third of the long-horizon forecast error variance of output growth, and about one-fifth of the long-run ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 351

Financing the U.S. Response to COVID-19

The Fed has been the biggest buyer of Treasury debt issued to pay for the federal government's COVID-19 response.
On the Economy

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