Debt Policies (debt + policy)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


OPTIMAL CONTRACTS FOR CENTRAL BANKERS AND PUBLIC DEBT POLICY*

THE JAPANESE ECONOMIC REVIEW, Issue 4 2004
HIROSHI FUJIKI
We consider how the second-best allocation corresponding to an optimal rule under the policy commitment of a central bank and a fiscal authority with a consolidated government budget constraint can be achieved, even though these authorities are unable to commit themselves to their optimal policies and ignore the strategic interaction between their policies. Our results show that the best practical institutional arrangement is to have an instrument-independent central bank that controls the money supply to determine the rate of inflation and commits itself to an inflation target that depends on fiscal variables. [source]


Long-Term Debt and Optimal Policy in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level

ECONOMETRICA, Issue 1 2001
John H. Cochrane
The fiscal theory says that the price level is determined by the ratio of nominal debt to the present value of real primary surpluses. I analyze long-term debt and optimal policy in the fiscal theory. I find that the maturity structure of the debt matters. For example, it determines whether news of future deficits implies current inflation or future inflation. When long-term debt is present, the government can trade current inflation for future inflation by debt operations; this tradeoff is not present if the government rolls over short-term debt. The maturity structure of outstanding debt acts as a "budget constraint" determining which periods' price levels the government can affect by debt variation alone. In addition, debt policy,the expected pattern of future state-contingent debt sales, repurchases and redemptions,matters crucially for the effects of a debt operation. I solve for optimal debt policies to minimize the variance of inflation. I find cases in which long-term debt helps to stabilize inflation. I also find that the optimal policy produces time series that are similar to U.S. surplus and debt time series. To understand the data, I must assume that debt policy offsets the inflationary impact of cyclical surplus shocks, rather than causing price level disturbances by policy-induced shocks. Shifting the objective from price level variance to inflation variance, the optimal policy produces much less volatile inflation at the cost of a unit root in the price level; this is consistent with the stabilization of U.S. inflation after the gold standard was abandoned. [source]


ESTIMATING THE TAX BENEFITS OF DEBT

JOURNAL OF APPLIED CORPORATE FINANCE, Issue 1 2001
John Graham
The standard approach to valuing interest tax shields assumes that full tax benefits are realized on every dollar of interest deduction in every scenario. The approach presented in this paper takes account of the possibility that interest tax shields cannot be used in some scenarios, in part because of variations in the firm's profitability. Because of the dynamic nature of the tax code (e.g., tax-loss carrybacks and carryforwards), it is necessary to consider past and future taxable income when estimating today's effective marginal tax rate. The paper uses a series of numerical examples to show that (1) the incremental value of an extra dollar of interest deduction is equal to the marginal tax rate appropriate for that dollar; and (2) a firm's effective marginal tax rate (and therefore the marginal benefit of incremental interest deductions) can actually decline as the firm takes on additional debt. Based on marginal benefit functions for thousands of firms from 1980,1999, the author concludes that the tax benefits of debt averaged approximately 10% of firm value during the 1980s, while declining to around 8% in the 1990s. By taking maximum advantage of the interest tax shield, the average firm could have increased its value by approximately 15% over the 1980s and 1990s, suggesting that the consequences of being underlevered are significant. Surprisingly, many of the companies that appear best able to service debt (i.e., those with the lowest apparent costs of debt) use the least amount of debt, on average. Treasurers and CFOs should critically reevaluate their companies' debt policies and consider the benefits of additional leverage, even if taking on more debt causes their credit ratings to slip a notch. [source]


Debt Neutrality and the Infinite,Lived Representative Consumer

JOURNAL OF PUBLIC ECONOMIC THEORY, Issue 4 2002
Bertrand Crettez
In this paper, we study the intertemporal equilibria of an infinite,lived representative agent model with public debt. We show that for a given path of government expenditures, there generally exists a continuum of equilibria depending on various debt policies. These equilibria are characterized by different paths of consumption and leisure. Two examples illustrate the results: in the first one consumption and leisure may converge to zero, in the second one consumption goes to infinity while leisure goes to its maximum value. In a third example with externalities la Romer, the standard intertemporal equilibrium with zero public debt may be dominated by other intertemporal equilibria. [source]


Long-Term Debt and Optimal Policy in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level

ECONOMETRICA, Issue 1 2001
John H. Cochrane
The fiscal theory says that the price level is determined by the ratio of nominal debt to the present value of real primary surpluses. I analyze long-term debt and optimal policy in the fiscal theory. I find that the maturity structure of the debt matters. For example, it determines whether news of future deficits implies current inflation or future inflation. When long-term debt is present, the government can trade current inflation for future inflation by debt operations; this tradeoff is not present if the government rolls over short-term debt. The maturity structure of outstanding debt acts as a "budget constraint" determining which periods' price levels the government can affect by debt variation alone. In addition, debt policy,the expected pattern of future state-contingent debt sales, repurchases and redemptions,matters crucially for the effects of a debt operation. I solve for optimal debt policies to minimize the variance of inflation. I find cases in which long-term debt helps to stabilize inflation. I also find that the optimal policy produces time series that are similar to U.S. surplus and debt time series. To understand the data, I must assume that debt policy offsets the inflationary impact of cyclical surplus shocks, rather than causing price level disturbances by policy-induced shocks. Shifting the objective from price level variance to inflation variance, the optimal policy produces much less volatile inflation at the cost of a unit root in the price level; this is consistent with the stabilization of U.S. inflation after the gold standard was abandoned. [source]


Prudence and Pragmatism in the Fiscal Stance

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, Issue 2 2000
Simon Proce
In this article, Simon Price argues that the government is pursuing a remarkably conservative fiscal policy. Not only has demand management been left almost entirely to the MPC, but since 1997 spending has been held down while the overall tax burden has been raised. Consequently, the relative size of the national debt is declining at a rapid rate. There are rules that are intended to govern debt policy, but they are based on less sound principles than the government argues, and may be inconsistent. Oddly, despite the emphasis on these rules, the government has announced a path for spending that makes it clear that it is in fact planning not to follow them. The government may be planning to reduce the national debt at an excessive rate. This may make sense in the short run, but is more problematic in the medium to long term. This is not to say fiscal policy should be immediately relaxed; the current low levels of private sector saving may well justify a temporarily tight fiscal stance. [source]


How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt?

THE JOURNAL OF FINANCE, Issue 5 2000
John R. Graham
I integrate under firm-specific benefit functions to estimate that the capitalized tax benefit of debt equals 9.7 percent of firm value (or as low as 4.3 percent, net of personal taxes). The typical firm could double tax benefits by issuing debt until the marginal tax benefit begins to decline. I infer how aggressively a firm uses debt by observing the shape of its tax benefit function. Paradoxically, large, liquid, profitable firms with low expected distress costs use debt conservatively. Product market factors, growth options, low asset collateral, and planning for future expenditures lead to conservative debt usage. Conservative debt policy is persistent. [source]