The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper focuses on the role of debt maturity in managing the government’s incentives to use opportunistic inflation to reduce the ex post real value of its nominal liabilities. The maturity structure of government debt is shown to be a powerful instrument to affect the time profile of the inflation tax base and, hence, to mitigate the distortions introduced by time inconsistency on taxation policies. The nature of the optimal policy is shown to be heavily dependent on the type of precommitment enjoyed by policymakers.