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The German Sub-national Government Bond Market: Structure, Determinants of Yield Spreads and Berlin's Forgone Bail-out

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  • Alexander Schulz

    ()
    (Deutsche Bundesbank)

  • Guntram B. Wolff

    ()
    (Deutsche Bundesbank)

Abstract

The paper presents a new and comprehensive data set of all bonds issued by the sixteen German federal states (Länder) since 1992. It thus provides a complete picture of a capital market comparable in size to the combined corporate bond and commercial paper market in Germany. The quantitative analysis reveals that Länder follow different issuing strategies: while some concentrate to a greater extent on large issues or issue joint bonds with other Länder (Jumbos), others rely more on comparatively small but frequent issues. Moreover, some Länder issue a significant volume-share of their bonds in foreign currencies. Suitable bonds are used to compute time series of yields for the respective Länder at a daily frequency as well as a liquidity measure. Based on the unique data set, we document that spreads of Länder yields to the Bund are driven to a great extent by general risk aversion. Public debt only has an economically marginal impact. Moreover, the recent refusal of the Federal Constitutional Court to grant additional federal funds to the city-state of Berlin did not change the risk assessment of German Länder by financial markets. Recent market turbulences have manifestly contributed to widening spreads as well as increased responsiveness of Länder spreads to international measures of risk aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 229 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 61-83

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:229:y:2009:i:1:p:61-83

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Related research

Keywords: Sovereign bond market; yields; liquidity; fiscal federalism; Germany;

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References

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  1. Pierre-Olivier Weill & Dimitri Vayanos, 2007. "A Search-Based Theory of the On-the-Run Phenomenon," FMG Discussion Papers dp577, Financial Markets Group.
  2. Jan J.G. Lemmen, 1999. "Managing Government Default Risk in Federal States," FMG Special Papers sp116, Financial Markets Group.
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  4. Kerstin Bernoth & Guntram Wolff, 2006. "Fool the markets? Creative accounting, fiscal transparency and sovereign risk premia," DNB Working Papers 103, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  5. Schuknecht, Ludger & von Hagen, Jürgen & Wolswijk, Guido, 2007. "Government Risk Premiums in the Bond Market: EMU and Canada," CEPR Discussion Papers 6579, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Laurence Copeland & Sally-Anne Jones, 2001. "Default probabilities of European sovereign debt: market-based estimates," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(5), pages 321-324.
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  8. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Schnabel, Isabel & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2006. "How Do Official Bailouts Affect the Risk of Investing in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1689-1714, October.
  9. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  10. Mark Hallerberg & Guntram Wolff, 2008. "Fiscal institutions, fiscal policy and sovereign risk premia in EMU," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(3), pages 379-396, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Dhritidyuti Bose & Rajeev Jain & Lakshmanan L, 2011. "Determinants of Primary Yield Spreads of States in India: An Econometric Analysis," Working Papers id:4370, eSocialSciences.
  2. Lars P. Feld & Alexander Kalb & Marc-Daniel Moessinger & Steffen Osterloh, 2013. "Sovereign Bond Market Reactions to Fiscal Rules and No-Bailout Clauses - The Swiss Experience," CESifo Working Paper Series 4195, CESifo Group Munich.

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