Universität Bonn

Department of Economics

Pierre Collin-Dufresne - EPFL

"Admissible Surplus Dynamics and the Government Debt Puzzle", together w/ Julien Hugonnier & Elena Perazzi


Is it possible to reconcile the procyclical Government surplus dynamics with the “safe asset status” of sovereign Debt? In an arbitrage-free market, if the aggregate debt value satisfies a transversality condition that rules out “bubbles”, then it should equal the present value of future government surpluses. This relation seems to fail when the surplus process is calibrated to historical data in the US (Jiang, Lustig, van Nieuwerburgh, and Xiolan (2022). However, we show that when the government issues only safe bonds in an incomplete but arbitrage-free market, then not all surplus processes are admissible in the sense that they are consistent with both the dynamic budget constraint and a transversality condition. We propose a class of admissible surplus processes that matches empirical properties of US government spending and tax claims without generating a “debt valuation puzzle.”

Additional information:

  • Speaker: Pierre Collin-Dufresne
  • Time: Wednesday, 19.06.2024, 14:45 - 16:00
  • Location: Faculty Lounge, Room 0.036
  • Further links:
  • Organizer: Finance Group
  • Contact:

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