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Determinants of government bond spreads in new EU countries

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  • Alexopoulou, Ioana
  • Bunda, Irina
  • Ferrando, Annalisa

Abstract

Based on a rich database of government bond spreads and macroeconomic indicators over the period 2001-2008, we propose an empirical assessment of the role of fundamentals in driving long-term sovereign bond spreads of the new EU countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). The results of a dynamic panel error correction model that accounts for both common long-run determinants and cross-country heterogeneities in sovereign bond spreads tend to suggest that fundamentals still matter for market’s assessment of a country creditworthiness. Countries’ levels of external debt, fiscal and current account balances, exchange and inflation rates, their degree of trade openness as well as short-term interest rate spreads play an important role in the new EU countries’ access to long-term finance. We furthermore challenge the pooled mean approach in order to check whether other factors may become relevant in the long-run for two sub-groups of countries according to the developments in their current account balances. Fiscal fundamentals seem to matter most for one group of countries, those characterised by widening external imbalances and historically high levels of spreads. In a context of heightened risk aversion and potential for spill over effects, this group of countries are more exposed to domestic sources of vulnerability as well as to swings in market perceptions of sovereign risks. JEL Classification: G12, H60, E62

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1093.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091093

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Keywords: long-term government bond spreads; new EU countries; pooled mean group estimation;

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References

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  1. Bunda, Irina & Hamann, A. Javier & Lall, Subir, 2009. "Correlations in emerging market bonds: The role of local and global factors," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 67-96, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Bauer & Martin Zenker, 2012. "Market Discipline Under A Politicised Multilateral Fiscal Rule - Lessons from the Stability and Growth Pact Debate," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 2012-35, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  2. António Afonso & Manuel M. F. Martins, 2010. "Level, Slope, Curvature of Sovereign Yield Curve and Fiscal Behaviour," Working Papers Department of Economics 2010/23, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  3. Enrique Alberola & Luis Molina & Pedro del Río, 2012. "Boom-bust cycles, imbalances and discipline in Europe," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1220, Banco de Espa�a.
  4. Gibson, Heather D. & Hall, Stephen G. & Tavlas, George S., 2012. "The Greek financial crisis: Growing imbalances and sovereign spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 498-516.
  5. Terezie Lokajickova, 2010. "Could the Stability and Growth Pact Be Substituted by the Financial Markets?," Working Papers IES 2010/30, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Dec 2010.
  6. Agnieszka Szczypińska, 2012. "Does the halo effect still hold? Implications for the euro-candidates from the analysis of the EA bond market - the crisis perspective," Working Papers 15, Ministry of Finance in Poland.
  7. Nicos Christodoulakis & Chrysa Leventi & Manos Matsaganis & Vassilis Monastiriotis, 2011. "The Greek crisis in focus: austerity, recession and paths to recovery," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 38380, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Matthias Bauer, 2013. "Political Aversion To a Multilateral Fiscal Rule: The Dynamic Commitment Problem in European Fiscal Governance," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 44-2013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  9. Afonso, António & Martins, Manuel M.F., 2012. "Level, slope, curvature of the sovereign yield curve, and fiscal behaviour," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1789-1807.
  10. António Afonso & Ana Sofia Nunes, 2013. "Economic forecasts and sovereign yields," Working Papers Department of Economics 2013/02, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  11. Nicos Christodoulakis & Vassilis Sarantides, 2011. "External asymmetries in the euro area and the role of foreign direct investment," Working Papers 132, Bank of Greece.
  12. Vladimir Tomsik, 2012. "Some insights into monetary and fiscal policy interactions in the Czech Republic," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Fiscal policy, public debt and monetary policy in emerging market economies, volume 67, pages 161-171 Bank for International Settlements.
  13. Guler, Halil & Talasli, Anil, 2012. "Determinants Of Sovereign Bond Spreads A Comparative Analysis During The Global Financial Crisis," MPRA Paper 51009, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Attinasi, Maria-Grazia & Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Nickel, Christiane, 2009. "What explains the surge in euro area sovereign spreads during the financial crisis of 2007-09?," Working Paper Series 1131, European Central Bank.

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