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Estimating Sovereign Default Risk


  • Huixin Bi
  • Nora Traum


This paper uses Bayesian methods to estimate the sovereign default probability for Greece and Italy in the post-EMU period. We build a real business cycle model that allows for interactions among fiscal policy instruments, sovereign default risk, and a "fiscal limit," which measures the maximum level of debt the government is willing to finance. We estimate the full nonlinear model using likelihood inference methods. Although we find that Greece historically had a lower default probability than Italy for a given debt level, our estimates suggest that the Italian government is more willing to service debt than the Greek government.

Suggested Citation

  • Huixin Bi & Nora Traum, 2012. "Estimating Sovereign Default Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 161-166, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:161-66

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bi, Huixin, 2012. "Sovereign default risk premia, fiscal limits, and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 389-410.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chernov, Mikhail & Schmid, Lukas & Schneider, Andres, 2016. "A Macrofinance View of U.S. Sovereign CDS Premiums," CEPR Discussion Papers 11576, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Andrew Foerster & Juan F. Rubio‐Ramírez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2016. "Perturbation methods for Markov‐switching dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), pages 637-669, July.
    3. Bi, Huixin & Shen, Wenyi & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2016. "Fiscal limits in developing countries: A DSGE Approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 119-130.
    4. Sören Radde & Cristina Checherita-Westphal & Wei Cui, 2015. "Government Bond Liquidity and Sovereign-Bank Interlinkages," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2015-032, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    5. Sokolova, A., 2014. "Sovereign Risk and Monetary Policy," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 56-82.
    6. Zuzana Mucka, 2015. "Is the Maastricht debt limit safe enough for Slovakia?," Working Papers Working Paper No. 2/2015, Council for Budget Responsibility.
    7. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Kobielarz, M.L. & Uras, R.B., 2015. "Sovereign Debt, Bail-Outs and Contagion in a Monetary Union," Discussion Paper 2015-018, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    8. Kollintzas, Tryphon & Tsoukalas, Konstantinos, 2015. "Bank and Sovereign Risk Interdependence in the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 10485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Matsuoka, Hideaki, 2015. "Fiscal limits and sovereign default risk in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 13-30.
    10. Hürtgen, Patrick & Rühmkorf, Ronald, 2014. "Sovereign default risk and state-dependent twin deficits," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(PB), pages 357-382.
    11. Sokolova, Anna, 2015. "Fiscal limits and monetary policy: default vs. inflation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 189-198.
    12. Kazuki Hiraga, 2012. "Measuring the Tax Revenue Elasticity to Output in Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model," Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series 2012-010, Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program.

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