IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Contagion and the European debt crisis


  • Constancio, V.


The financial and economic crisis that started in August 2007 is a clear case of the materialisation and propagation of systemic risk. The banking crisis reached a climax in September 2008 with the demise of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent support to the financial system. In spring 2010, it turned into a sovereign debt crisis. Widespread instabilities repeatedly reached new heights since the summer of 2011. This article addresses a phenomenon which is at the very centre of what we are experiencing in the euro area, the phenomenon of contagion. Contagion is one of the mechanisms by which financial instability becomes so widespread that a crisis reaches systemic dimensions. The article argues that contagion phenomena play a crucial role in exacerbating the sovereign debt problems in the euro area. As a consequence, crisis management by all competent authorities should focus on the policy measures that are able to contain and mitigate contagion. Several of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) interventions have been motivated by the need to address contagion.

Suggested Citation

  • Constancio, V., 2012. "Contagion and the European debt crisis," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 16, pages 109-121, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:fisrev:2011:16:10

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bertrand Candelon & Amadou N Sy & Rabah Arezki, 2011. "Sovereign Rating News and Financial Markets Spillovers; Evidence from the European Debt Crisis," IMF Working Papers 11/68, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Yehning Chen, 1999. "Banking Panics: The Role of the First-Come, First-Served Rule and Information Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 946-968, October.
    3. P. Hartmann & S. Straetmans & C. G. de Vries, 2004. "Asset Market Linkages in Crisis Periods," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 313-326, February.
    4. De Santis, Roberto A., 2012. "The Euro area sovereign debt crisis: safe haven, credit rating agencies and the spread of the fever from Greece, Ireland and Portugal," Working Paper Series 1419, European Central Bank.
    5. François Longin, 2001. "Extreme Correlation of International Equity Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 649-676, April.
    6. Bernd Schwaab, 2012. "Conditional probabilities and contagion measures for euro area sovereign default risk," Research Bulletin, European Central Bank, vol. 17, pages 6-11.
    7. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Angela Ng, 2005. "Market Integration and Contagion," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 39-70, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Huang, Xin & Zhou, Hao & Zhu, Haibin, 2009. "A framework for assessing the systemic risk of major financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2036-2049, November.
    10. De Bandt, Olivier & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "Systemic risk: A survey," Working Paper Series 0035, European Central Bank.
    11. Alter, Adrian & Schüler, Yves S., 2012. "Credit spread interdependencies of European states and banks during the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3444-3468.
    12. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2003. "The Unholy Trinity of Financial Contagion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 51-74, Fall.
    13. Harvey, A C, 1985. "Trends and Cycles in Macroeconomic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 216-227, June.
    14. Peter K. Clark, 1987. "The Cyclical Component of U. S. Economic Activity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 797-814.
    15. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-661, September.
    16. Michael D. Bordo & Lars Jonung & Agnieszka Markiewicz, 2013. "A Fiscal Union for the Euro: Some Lessons from History ," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(3), pages 449-488, September.
    17. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Miguel Antón & Sergio Mayordomo & María Rodríguez-Moreno, "undated". "Dealing with dealers: sovereign CDS comovements," Working Papers 1723, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    2. Kenourgios, Dimitris & Naifar, Nader & Dimitriou, Dimitrios, 2016. "Islamic financial markets and global crises: Contagion or decoupling?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 36-46.
    3. Paolo Canofari & Giovanni Bartolomeo & Giovanni Piersanti, 2014. "Theory and Practice of Contagion in Monetary Unions: Domino Effects in EMU Mediterranean Countries," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 20(3), pages 259-267, August.
    4. De Bruyckere, Valerie & Gerhardt, Maria & Schepens, Glenn & Vander Vennet, Rudi, 2013. "Bank/sovereign risk spillovers in the European debt crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 4793-4809.
    5. repec:eee:ejores:v:262:y:2017:i:3:p:1116-1135 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:intfin:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:115-128 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Guidolin, Massimo & Pedio, Manuela, 2017. "Identifying and measuring the contagion channels at work in the European financial crises," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-134.
    8. Silvapulle, Param & Fenech, Jean Pierre & Thomas, Alice & Brooks, Rob, 2016. "Determinants of sovereign bond yield spreads and contagion in the peripheral EU countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 83-92.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bfr:fisrev:2011:16:10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael brassart). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.