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What explains the surge in euro area sovereign spreads during the financial crisis of 2007-09?

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  • Attinasi, Maria-Grazia
  • Checherita-Westphal, Cristina
  • Nickel, Christiane

Abstract

This paper uses a dynamic panel approach to explain the determinants of widening sovereign bond yield spreads vis-à-vis Germany in selected euro area countries during the period end-July 2007 to end-March 2009, when the financial turmoil developed into a full-blown financial and economic crisis. Emphasis is given to the role of fiscal fundamentals and government announcements of substantial bank rescue packages. The paper finds that higher expected budget deficits and/or higher government debt ratios relative to Germany contributed to higher government bond yield spreads in the euro area during the analysed period. More importantly, the announcements of bank rescue packages have led to a re-assessment, from the part of investors, of sovereign credit risk, first and foremost through a transfer of risk from the private financial sector to the government. JEL Classification: E62, E43, G12

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1131.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091131

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Keywords: Fiscal Announcements; Fiscal Policy; Sovereign Spreads;

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  1. James M. Poterba & Kim S. Rueben, 1997. "State Fiscal Institutions and the U.S. Municipal Bond Market," NBER Working Papers 6237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Kerstin Bernoth & Guntram B. Wolff, 2008. "Fool The Markets? Creative Accounting, Fiscal Transparency And Sovereign Risk Premia," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 55(4), pages 465-487, 09.
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  16. Salvador Barrios & Per Iversen & Magdalena Lewandowska & Ralph Setzer, 2009. "Determinants of intra-euro area government bond spreads during the financial crisis," European Economy - Economic Papers 388, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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