Frequency-domain analysis of debt service in a macro-finance model for the euro area

public debt
term structure
permanent working paper
Banque de France Working Paper

Jean-Paul Renne


August 18, 2017

This paper illustrates how a parsimonious macro-finance model can be ex- ploited to investigate the frequency-domain properties of debt service implied by various financing srategies. This orginal approach is valuable to public debt managers seeking to assess the fiscal-hedging properties of the financing strate- gies they implement. The model, inspired by Rudebusch and Wu (2008), is estimated on euro-area data over the period 1999-2009. At business-cycle fre- quencies, the variance of interest payments is lower when nominal long-term bonds are issued. From a budget-smoothing perspective, debt service variabil- ity plays a major role, but pro- or counter-cyclicality of debt service also matters. In this respect, the results suggest that while interest payments associated with medium- to long-term nominal bonds are negatively correlated with real activ- ity, those associated with inflation-linked bonds and short-term nominal bonds tend to be pro-cyclical.

Link to paper