Bond Vigilantes and Inflation


Andrew K. Rose

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2015-09 | August 1, 2015

We explore the relationship between inflation and the existence of a local domestic‐currency bond market. Domestic bond markets allow governments to inflate away their debt obligations, but also create a potential anti-inflationary force of bond holders. We develop a simple model where bond issuance may lead to political pressure on the government to choose a lower inflation rate. We then check this prediction empirically, finding that inflation‐targeting countries with bond markets experience inflation approximately three to four percentage points lower than those without. This effect is insensitive to a variety of estimation strategies and methods to account for potential endogeneity.

Article Citation

Rose, Andrew K., and Mark M. Spiegel. 2015. “Bond Vigilantes and Inflation,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2015-09. Available at

About the Author
Mark Spiegel
Mark Spiegel is a senior policy advisor in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Learn more about Mark Spiegel