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Sovereign bond risk premiums

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  • Dockner, Engelbert J.
  • Mayer, Manuel
  • Zechner, Josef
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    Abstract

    Credit risk has become an important factor driving government bond returns. We therefore introduce an asset pricing model which exploits information contained in both forward interest rates and forward CDS spreads. Our empirical analysis covers euro-zone countries with German government bonds as credit risk-free assets. We construct a market factor from the first three principal components of the German forward curve as well as a common and a country-specific credit factor from the principal components of the forward CDS curves. We find that predictability of risk premiums of sovereign euro-zone bonds improves substantially if the market factor is augmented by a common and an orthogonal country-specific credit factor. While the common credit factor is significant for most countries in the sample, the country-specific factor is significant mainly for peripheral euro-zone countries. Finally, we find that during the current crisis period, market and credit risk premiums of government bonds are negative over long subintervals, a finding that we attribute to the presence of financial repression in euro-zone countries. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2013/28.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201328

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    Keywords: Sovereign bond risk premiums; Market and credit risk factors; Financial repression;

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    1. Francis A. Longstaff & Jun Pan & Lasse H. Pedersen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 2007. "How Sovereign is Sovereign Credit Risk?," NBER Working Papers 13658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bernoth, Kerstin & Hagen, Jürgen von & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2006. "Sovereign Risk Premiums in the European Government Bond Market," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 151, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Miguel A. Segoviano Basurto & Carlos Caceres & Vincenzo Guzzo, 2010. "Sovereign Spreads: Global Risk Aversion, Contagion or Fundamentals?," IMF Working Papers 10/120, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Ilmanen, Antti, 1995. " Time-Varying Expected Returns in International Bond Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 481-506, June.
    5. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2002. "Bond Risk Premia," NBER Working Papers 9178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," NBER Working Papers 3153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ferson, Wayne E & Harvey, Campbell R, 1991. "The Variation of Economic Risk Premiums," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 385-415, April.
    8. Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2009. "Macro Factors in Bond Risk Premia," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 5027-5067, December.
    9. Fama, Eugene F & Bliss, Robert R, 1987. "The Information in Long-Maturity Forward Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 680-92, September.
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