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How Sovereign Is Sovereign Credit Risk?

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  • Francis A. Longstaff
  • Jun Pan
  • Lasse H. Pedersen
  • Kenneth J. Singleton

Abstract

We study the nature of sovereign credit risk using an extensive set of sovereign CDS data. We find that the majority of sovereign credit risk can be linked to global factors. A single principal component accounts for 64 percent of the variation in sovereign credit spreads. Furthermore, sovereign credit spreads are more related to the US stock and high-yield markets than they are to local economic measures. We decompose credit spreads into their risk premium and default risk components. On average, the risk premium represents about a third of the credit spread. (JEL F34, G15, O16, O19, P34)

Suggested Citation

  • Francis A. Longstaff & Jun Pan & Lasse H. Pedersen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 2011. "How Sovereign Is Sovereign Credit Risk?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 75-103, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:75-103
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.2.75
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    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • P34 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Finance

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