Fiscal Policy and Sovereign Debt

June 7-8, 2024

This two-day conference—organized jointly by the IMF and the Center for Advanced Research in Finance at the University Tokyo and Waseda University in Japan—offers a platform for discussing fiscal challenges confronting countries amid elevated debt levels and growing demands on public budgets. The conference, part of Fiscal Affair’s Department’s Sovereign Debt Network Project, brings together leading scholars and senior policymakers to explore a range of fiscal issues of import to the IMF membership, including, the implications of interest rate shocks on debt sustainability, the impact of investor composition on sovereign borrowing costs, demand for global safe assets and the convenience yield, and fiscal policy and the demographic transition.

Watch here: Sessions 1, 2, and 3 - You need to register

Friday, June 7
9:00 am
Opening remarks: Kenji Okamura (Deputy Managing Director, IMF)

09:20 am  Session 1: Demand for Sovereign Debt
Moderator: Era Dabla-Norris (Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)
Who holds sovereign debt and why it matters?
Xiang Fang(University of Hong Kong), Bryan Hardy (Bank of International Settlements) and Karen Lewis (University of Pennsylvania)
Discussant: Eric Leeper (University of Virginia)

Convenience yields and financial repression
Jonathan Payne(Princeton University) and Bálint Szőke (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)
Discussant: Francesco Bianchi (Johns Hopkins University)
10:40 am
Coffee Break

11:10 am Session 2: Optimal Fiscal Policy
Moderator: Keiichiro Kobayashi (Keio University)
Can deficits finance themselves?
George-Marios Angeletos(Northwestern University), Chen Lian (University of California Berkeley) and Christian K. Wolf (MIT)
Discussant: Huixin Bi (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

Robust bounds on optimal tax progressivity
Anmol Bhandari (University of Minnesota), Jaroslav Borovička (New York University) and Yuki Yao (University of Kent)
Discussant: Tomoyuki Nakajima (University of Tokyo)

12:30 pm


02:00 pm  Session 3: Pricing Sovereign Debt
Moderator: Kenichi Ueda (University of Tokyo)
Sovereign debt, default risk, and the liquidity of government bonds
Gaston Chaumont (University of Rochester)
Discussant: Francisco Roch (IMF)

The puzzling behavior of spreads during Covid
Stelios Fourakis (Johns Hopkins University) and Loukas Karabarbounis (University of Minnesota and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)
Discussant: Taisuke Nakata (University of Tokyo)

03:20 pm
Coffee Break

03:50 pm  Policy Panel

Watch this Session here - You need to register

Vitor Gaspar (Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)
Panelists: Junko Koeda (Waseda University)
Fernanda Nechio (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
Luiz Awazu Pereira (University of Tokyo; former Bank for International Settlements)
Tomoko Hayashi (Director-General of Economic Research Bureau, Cabinet Office; Chief Economist of Government)

06:30 pm
Conference Dinner (by invitation only)

Saturday, June 8

Watch here: Sessions 4 and 5 - You need to register
09:10 am  Session 4: Sovereign Debt and Interest Rate Shocks
Moderator: Kosuke Aoki (University of Tokyo)
Default and interest rate shocks: renegotiation matters
Victor Almeida (Carleton College), Carlos Esquivel (Rutgers University), Timothy J. Kehoe (University of Minnesota) and Juan Pablo Nicolini (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)
Discussant: Jing Zhang (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

 Interest rate shocks and the composition of sovereign debt
Eugenia Gonzalez-Aguado (Toulouse School of Economics)
Discussant: Kozo Ueda (Waseda University)

10:30 am
Coffee Break

11:00 am  Session 5: Fiscal Policy in Japan
Moderator: Sagiri Kitao (GRIPS)
Comparison of Various Fiscal Policies in the Face of Different Demographic Stages
Naoyuki Yoshino (Keio University), Keigo Kameda (Kwansei Gakuin University), Hiroaki Miyamoto (Ministry of Finance, Hitotsubashi University) and Zhenkun Lu (Kwansei Gakuin University)
Discussant: Jacopo Cimadomo (European Central Bank)

 What about Japan?
Yi-Li Chen (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis), Harold L. Cole (University of Pennsylvania), and Hanno Lustig (Stanford University)
Discussant: Makoto Saito (Nagoya University)

12:20 pm 

Concluding remarks: Kenichi Ueda (Director, CARF, University of Tokyo, and Representative Director, TCER)
12:30 pm

Conference organizers: Era Dabla-Norris, Carlos Goncalves, Alexandra Solovyeva, Kenichi Ueda (CARF, University of Tokyo), and Junko Koeda (Waseda University).