Fiscal Policy in an Era of High Debt

November 16-17, 2023

As sovereign debt levels reach unprecedented heights, this two-day conference aims to provide a forum to discuss the complex landscape fiscal policy is now facing. Bringing together academics and policymaker, the event delves into a range of topics that are central to IMF member countries, such as the interactions between fiscal and monetary policy and their effects on inflation, the macroeconomic implications of debt sustainability and sovereign default, and the political economy of debts and deficits.


DAY 1: Thursday, November 16, 2023

8:30 am


9:00 am Opening Remarks: Gita Gopinath (First Deputy Managing Director, IMF)

9:15 am

Session 1: Monetary-Fiscal Interactions

Moderator: Thomas J. Sargent (New York University)

Pareto Improving Fiscal and Monetary Policies: Samuelson in the New Keynesian Model

Mark Aguiar (Princeton University)

Manuel Amador (University of Minnesota)

Cristina Arellano (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

Discussant: Pier Paolo Benigno (University of Bern)

What drives price levels in a monetary union?

Eric Leeper (University of Virginia)

Christian Matthes (Indiana University)

Discussant: Jesper Lindé (International Monetary Fund)

10:30 am

Coffee Break

11:00 am

Session 2: Debt Sustainability

Moderator: Abe Selassie (Director, African Department, IMF)

Managing Public Portfolios

Leo Aparisi de Lannoy (University of Chicago)

Anmol Bhandari (University of Minnesota)

David Evans (University of Oregon)

Mikhail Golosov (University of Chicago)

Thomas Sargent (New York University)

Discussant: Hanno Lustig (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

Fiscal Policies, Sovereign Risk and Macroeconomic Stabilization

Javier Bianchi (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

Daniel Garcia-Macia (International Monetary Fund)

Pablo Ottonello (University of Maryland)

Ignacio Presno (Federal Reserve Board)

Discussant: Ricardo Nunes (University of Surrey)

12:30 pm

Lunch Break

1:45 pm

Session 3: Sovereign Default

Moderator: Ceyla Pazarbasioglu (Director, Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, IMF) 

Bad News Bankers: Underwriter Reputation and Contagion in pre-1914 Sovereign Debt Markets

Sasha Indarte (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

Discussant: Kosuke Aoki (University of Tokyo)

Sovereign Default and Government Reputation

Stelios Fourakis (Johns Hopkins University)

Discussant: Francisco Roldan (International Monetary Fund)

3:00 pm

Coffee Break

3:30 pm

Session 4: Sovereign Risk and the Macroeconomy

Moderator: Vitor Gaspar (Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)

Monetary Policy and Sovereign Risk in Emerging Economies

Cristina Arellano (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

Yan Bai (University of Rochester)

Gabriel P. Mihalache (The Ohio State University)

Discussant: Alberto Martin (CREI and BSE)

US Federal Debts Bequeathed by the War on COVID

George Hall (Brandeis University)

Thomas J. Sargent (New York University)

Discussant: Gaston Chaumont (University of Rochester)

7:30 pm

Conference Dinner (by invitation only)

DAY 2: Friday, November 17, 2023

9:30 am

Session 5: Political Economy of Debts and Deficits

Moderator: Nigel Chalk (Deputy Director, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF)

A Theory of Fiscal Responsibility and Irresponsibility

Marina Halac (Yale University)

Pierre Yared (Columbia University, Graduate Business School)

Discussant: Alessandro Dovis (University of Pennsylvania)

Using Social Media to Identify the Effects of Congressional Viewpoints on Asset Prices

Francesco Bianchi (Johns Hopkins University)

Roberto Gomez Cram (London Business School)

Howard Kung (London Business School)

Discussant: Chenzi Xu (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

10:45 am

Coffee Break

11:00 am

Session 6: High Debt and its Risks

Moderator: Era Dabla-Norris (Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)

Felipe Larrain (Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile)

Sven Langedijk (European Commission)

Michael Olabisi (Michigan State University)

Poonam Gupta (NCAER)

11:45 am

Closing Remarks: Thomas J. Sargent (New York University)

Conference organizers: Era Dabla-Norris, Roberto Piazza, Francesca Caselli