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Balance sheet effects, external volatility, and emerging market spreads



This paper studies the determinants of emerging market spreads, and thus of the cost of borrowing for emerging market sovereigns, using recent data from JP Morgans EMBI+ index for a panel of 19 countries. Controlling for traditional spread determinants, we focus on three additional factors whose importance is suggested by recent work: external shocks, the balance sheet effect of real devaluations, and the degree of current account leverage. We find clear and strong evidence that the variables in the foregoing categories have an economically and statistically significant relationship with spreads. In particular, we find a major role for the terms-of-trade volatility and the level of current account leverage in explaining spread variation. The result on current account leverage establishes an important link between a factor shown to make countries more vulnerable to sudden stops of capital flows, and the premium required by international investors on their foreign debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel W. Malone, 2009. "Balance sheet effects, external volatility, and emerging market spreads," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 12, pages 273-299, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:12:y:2009:n:2:p:273-299

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    Cited by:

    1. Luitel, Prabesh & Vanpée, Rosanne & De Moor, Lieven, 2016. "Pernicious effects: How the credit rating agencies disadvantage emerging markets," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 286-298.
    2. Dachraoui, Hajer & Smida, Mounir & Sebri, Maamar, 2020. "Role of capital flight as a driver of sovereign bond spreads in Latin American countries," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 15-33.
    3. Alejandro Torres García & Laura Wberth Escobar, 2018. "Commodity Prices Shocks and the Balance Sheet Effect in Latin America," Documentos de Trabajo de Valor Público 16362, Universidad EAFIT.
    4. Alejandro Torres-García & Jaime Montoya-Arbeláez & Laura Wberth-Escobar, 2022. "Commodity price shocks and the balance sheet effect in emerging economies," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 2081-2110, November.
    5. Petra Palic & Petra Posedel Simovic & Maruska Vizek, 2017. "The Determinants of Country Risk Premium Volatility: Evidence from a Panel VAR Model," Croatian Economic Survey, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, vol. 19(1), pages 37-66, June.
    6. Petra Palic & Petra Posedel Simovic & Maruska Vizek, 2015. "The Determinants of Country´s Risk Premium Volatility: Evidence from Panel VAR Model," Working Papers 1505, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
    7. Tkalec, Marina & Vizek, Maruška & Verbič, Miroslav, 2014. "Balance sheet effects and original sinners’ risk premiums," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 597-613.
    8. César Carrera, 2016. "Identifying the exchange-rate balance sheet effect over firms," Working Papers 66, Peruvian Economic Association.

    More about this item


    balance sheet effects; emerging market debt; external volatility; country risk premium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems


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