Debt strategy is defined as the manner in which a government finances an excess of government expenditures over revenues and any maturing debt issued in previous periods. The author gives a thorough qualitative description of the complexities of debt strategy analysis and then demonstrates that it is, in fact, a problem in stochastic optimal control.
The author estimates the relationship between the provincial credit ratings, as assessed by Standard & Poor's, and a number of economic variables, using the ordered probit methodology. All the variables in her estimation prove to be significant. In particular, she finds that downgrades take place at almost the same speed at different levels of the debt-to-GDP ratio, based on a pooled sample of nine provinces.