Pierre Beynet, 11 October 2018

European fiscal rules have become overly complex over time. Some consider them too lax to ensure fiscal sustainability, while others see them as too rigid to ensure adequate smoothing of economic activity in bad times. This column, part of the Vox debate on euro area reform, argues that to make the rules more effective, they should be simplified and focus on expenditure growth, while avoiding reliance on unobservable concepts such as structural fiscal balances. Increased ownership requires more flexibility and built-in positive incentives, such as allowing deviations when financed with GDP-linked bonds, which would also improve fiscal sustainability.

Julien Acalin, 10 October 2018

The idea of growth-indexed bonds has recently regained momentum in policy circles, but research has shown they are unlikely to substantially decrease the risk of a debt explosion in advanced economies if not issued through a large and coordinated mechanism. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on euro area reform, proposes such a mechanism for the euro area – a European Debt Agency issuing securitised safe and risky European bonds backed by country-specific growth-indexed bonds.

Robert Shiller, Jonathan D. Ostry, James Benford, Mark Joy, 16 March 2018

While the idea of governments issuing debt instruments whose repayments are indexed to GDP is not new, the current global backdrop of high government debt suggests the case for doing so might be especially strong now. This column introduces a new eBook in which leading economists, lawyers, and investors examine the case for issuing GDP-linked bonds, the obstacles to market development, ways of overcoming them, and what such a security might look like in practice.

Guido Tabellini, 23 November 2017

In the debate on European reforms, a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism for the Eurozone is often proposed. This column argues that such a mechanism is not required. Instead, Eurozone member states should issue GDP-linked bonds, which would enact an implicit seniority structure on their sovereign debt and make the Eurozone more resilient to the next crisis.

Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 01 March 2017

Policymakers and economists have been looking for ways to make it easier to manage increasing debt burdens. This column assesses one possible solution: GDP-linked bonds that tie the size of debt payments to an economy’s wellbeing. There are clear benefits to a government from issuing GDP-linked bonds, but establishing investor confidence in these instruments will require a better approach to the obstacles posed by data revisions and changes in methodology.

Martin Brooke, Rhys Mendes, Alex Pienkowski, Eric Santor, 12 December 2013

Recent Eurozone events have changed the perception that sovereign debt is a problem of emerging-market economies. This column highlights some major deficiencies of the current framework, and proposes two new and complementary types of state-contingent debt contracts. The first – sovereign cocos – are designed to tackle liquidity crises. The second – GDP-linked bonds – help prevent solvency crises.


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