As Europe proceeds towards economic and monetary union, fiscal convergence and the prospect of a common money are at the centre of discussion. This volume from the Centre for Economic Policy Research brings together theoretical, applied and historical research on the management of public debt and its implications for financial stability. Gale fills a gap in the literature, using a consistent framework to investigate the welfare economics of public debt, while Calvo and Guidotti analyse the trade-off between indexation and maturity when it comes to minimizing debt service. Confidence crises have become relevant again in view of the high debt ratios in countries such as Belgium, Italy and Ireland. Alesina, Prati and Tabellini develop a formal model of the propagation of a debt run and use it to interpret Italian debt panics. Giavazzi and Pagano concentrate on how inappropriate debt management can precipitate a run on the currency while Makinen and Woodward review a broad sweep of historical experience.
List of figures; List of tables; Preface; List of conference participants; 1. Introduction Rudiger Dornbusch and Mario Draghi; 2. The efficient design of public debt Douglas Gale; Discussion Olivier Jean Blanchard; 3. Indexation and maturity of government bonds: an exploratory model Guillermo A. Calvo and Pablo E. Guidotti; Discussion William H. Branson and Allen Drazen; 4. Public confidence and debt management: a model and a case study of Italy Alberto Alesina, Alessandro Pratti and Guido Tabellini; Discussion Mario Draghi and Lars E. O. Svensson; 5. Confidence crises and public debt management Francesco Giavazzi and Marco Pagano; Discussion Enrica Detragiache and Maurice Obstfeld; 6. Funding crises in the aftermath of World War I Gail E. Makinen and G. Thomas Woodward; Discussion Alberto Giovannini and Andrea Ripa Di Meana; 7. The capital levy in theory and practice Barry Eichengreen; 8. Episodes in the public debt history of the United States E. Cary Brown; Discussion Barry P. Bosworth and Giampaolo Galli; 9. The Italian national debt conversion of 1906 Marcello de Cecco; Discussion Richard Portes and Ignazio Visco; 10. Fear of deficit financing - is it rational? Marcus Miller, Robert Skidelsky and Paul Weller; Discussion Giuseppe Bertola; 11. Government domestic debt and the risk of default: a political-economic model of the strategic role of debt Philippe Aghion and Patrick Bolton; Discussion Jean-Pierre Danthine and Pietro Reichlin; Index.