Commodity price risk management and fiscal policy in a sovereign default model

BIS Working Papers No 620
March 2017

Paper produced as part of the BIS Consultative Council for the Americas Research Network project "The commodity cycle: macroeconomic and financial stability implications"

Commodity prices are an important driver of fiscal policy and the business cycle in many developing and emerging market economies. We analyze a dynamic stochastic small-open-economy model of sovereign default, featuring endogenous fiscal policy and stochastic commodity revenues. The model accounts for a positive correlation of commodity revenues with government expenditures and a negative correlation with tax rates. We quantitatively document the extent to which the utilization of different financial hedging instruments by the government contributes to lowering the volatility of different macroeconomic variables and their correlation with commodity revenues. An event analysis illustrates how financial hedging instruments moderate fiscal adjustment in response to significant falls in the price of commodities. We evaluate the conditional and unconditional welfare gains for the representative household, generated by financial derivatives and commodity-indexed bonds.

JEL classification: F34, F41, F44

Keywords: commodity revenues, hedging, indexed bonds, fiscal policy, sovereign default