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DEMOCRACY’S SPREAD: Elections and Sovereign Debt in Developing Countries

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  • Steven A. Block

    ()

  • Burkhard N. Schrage

    ()

  • Paul M. Vaaler

    ()

Abstract

We use partisan and opportunistic political business cycle (“PBC”) considerations to develop and test a framework for explaining election-period changes in credit spreads for developing country sovereign bonds. Pre-election bond spread trends are significantly linked both to the partisan orientation of incumbents facing election and to expectations of incumbent victory. Bond spreads for right-wing (leftwing) incumbents increase (decrease) as the likelihood of left-wing (right-wing) challenger victory increases. For right-wing incumbent partisan and opportunistic PBC effects bondholder risk perceptions are mutually reinforcing. For left-wing incumbents partisan PBC effects dominate bondholder risk perceptions compared to opportunistic PBC effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 2003-575.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 15 May 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2003-575

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Keywords: economics; elections; developing countries; sovereign bonds; spreads;

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References

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  1. Martínez, Juan & Santiso, Javier, 2003. "Financial Markets and Politics: The Confidence Game in Latin American Emerging Economies," MPRA Paper 12909, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. William D. Nordhaus, 1989. "Alternative Approaches to the Political Business Cycle," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 927, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Steven Block & Burkhard N. Schrage & Paul M. Vaaler, 2003. "Democratization’s Risk Premium: Partisan and Opportunistic Political Business Cycle Effects on Sovereign Ratings in Developing Countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 546, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Block, Steven A., 2002. "Political business cycles, democratization, and economic reform: the case of Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 205-228, February.
  5. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  8. Steven A. Block & Karen E. Ferree & Smita Singh, 2003. "Multiparty Competition, Founding Elections and Political Business Cycles in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(3), pages 444-468, September.
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  14. Schuknecht, Ludger, 2000. " Fiscal Policy Cycles and Public Expenditure in Developing Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 115-30, January.
  15. Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Macroeconomics and Politics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Sovereign risk assessment and agency credit ratings," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 2(2), pages 247-256.
  17. Guillermo Larraín & Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1997. "Emerging Market Risk and Sovereign Credit Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 124, OECD Publishing.
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Cited by:
  1. Sebastián Nieto Parra & Javier Santiso, 2008. "Wall Street and Elections in Latin American Emerging Economies," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 272, OECD Publishing.

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