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Jan Mazza

Articles by Jan Mazza

The possible Chinese-US trade deal

March 4, 2019

The future of Sino-American relations after the incoming end of trade talks between Beijing and Washington. We review opinions in the English-speaking blogosphere on the likely content of the deal and the message this agreement sends to the world.

Trade is war – so reads the title of a book by Yash Tandon. One need not endorse such a pessimistic view to acknowledge the far-reaching strategic implications of trade relations between the US and China. The two countries are currently negotiating on a wide set of issues. Without agreement, the US threatens to raise tariffs on imports from China, initially planned for March 1st and then indefinitely postponed by President Trump in light of the “substantial progress” achieved.

The Financial Times reports that the final deal, in the absence

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Is public debt a cheap lunch?

January 21, 2019

The fiscal and welfare costs of public debt, following Olivier Blanchard’s presidential lecture at the American Economic Association, in which he suggested both might be lower than expected. We review his paper, along with several scholars’ comments, and provide a quick comparison with the European context.

Olivier Blanchard sparked a vivid debate with his last presidential lecture at the American Economic Association, focusing upon the costs associated with public debt. In a nutshell, the former IMF chief economist argues that, under certain conditions, higher public debt might have limited welfare costs, and no fiscal costs at all.
The latter essentially depend on the dynamics of r (the nominal interest rate paid by the government on its debt) and g (the nominal growth rate of the

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The consequences of Italy’s increasing dependence on domestic debt-holders

November 6, 2018

Bruegel’s updated data set of sovereign bond holdings illustrates how a rising share of Italian debt is held by domestic investors – a development with particularly significant implications, in the context of the Italian government’s disagreement with the European Commission over spending plans outlined in its draft budget.

Italian debt is overwhelmingly and increasingly held by resident banks and investors, as shown by the updated figures in our database on sovereign bonds holdings. In this blog post, I discuss possible implications.
The data
Our recently updated database on sovereign bonds holdings shows that Italy maintains some peculiarities in its debt ownership structure. The substantial increase in the proportion of Italian bonds held by the Bank of Italy since 2015 (from

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