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The sovereign spread in Asian emerging economies: The significance of external versus internal factors


  • Banerji, Sanjay
  • Ventouri, Alexia
  • Wang, Zilong


This paper investigates the dynamic relations between external factors, domestic macroeconomic factors with sovereign spreads, debt to GDP ratio, etc. in Asian emerging countries. First, we develop a theoretical model that determines the equilibrium debt level, probability of default and sovereign spread and draw empirical implications. We then employ a Structural Vector Autoregression (SVAR) model to investigate empirically how the spread of sovereign debt is influenced over time by both external and domestic factors. The empirical results show that variations in sovereign spreads are mainly driven by external shocks, with the term structure of US interest rate and the global risk aversion having the most important role. The findings also indicate that shocks from the US have a direct effect on sovereign spread and an indirect effect via domestic macroeconomic fundamentals. Finally, the evidence produced validates the presence of some response patterns of sovereign spread to the external shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Banerji, Sanjay & Ventouri, Alexia & Wang, Zilong, 2014. "The sovereign spread in Asian emerging economies: The significance of external versus internal factors," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 566-576.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:36:y:2014:i:c:p:566-576 DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2013.09.040

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrea Fracasso, 2006. "The role of foreign and domestic factors in the evolution of the Brazilian EMBI spread and debt dynamics," IHEID Working Papers 22-2007, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Jul 2007.
    2. Sebastian Edwards, 1983. "LDC's Foreign Borrowing and Default Risk: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 1172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, July.
    4. Granville, Brigitte & Mallick, Sushanta & Zeng, Ning, 2011. "Chinese exchange rate and price effects on G3 import prices," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 427-440.
    5. Uribe, Martin & Yue, Vivian Z., 2006. "Country spreads and emerging countries: Who drives whom?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 6-36, June.
    6. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1998. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging-Market Debt: Fundamentals or Market Sentiment?," NBER Working Papers 6408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
    8. Brenda Gonzalez-Hermosillo & Vance Martin & Mardi Dungey & Renee Fry, 2003. "Characterizing Global Investors' Risk Appetite for Emerging Market Debt During Financial Crises," IMF Working Papers 03/251, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Hong G. Min, 1998. "Determinants of emerging market bond spread : do economic fundamentals matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1899, The World Bank.
    10. Hao Zhou, 2010. "Variance risk premia, asset predictability puzzles, and macroeconomic uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Diaz Weigel, Diana & Gemmill, Gordon, 2006. "What drives credit risk in emerging markets? The roles of country fundamentals and market co-movements," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 476-502, April.
    12. Edwards, Sebastian, 1984. "LDC Foreign Borrowing and Default Risk: An Empirical Investigation, 1976-80," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 726-734, September.
    13. Cover, James P. & Mallick, Sushanta K., 2012. "Identifying sources of macroeconomic and exchange rate fluctuations in the UK," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1627-1648.
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    Cited by:

    1. DEBARSY, Nicolas & DOSSOUGOIN, Cyrille & ERTUR, Cem & GNABO, Jean-Yves, 2016. "Measuring sovereign risk spillovers and assessing the role of transmission channels: a spatial econometrics approach," CORE Discussion Papers 2016053, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    2. Akram, Tanweer & Li, Huiqing, 2017. "What keeps long-term U.S. interest rates so low?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 380-390.
    3. Sinan Esen & Feyyaz Zeren & Halil Şimdi, 2015. "CDS and Stock Market: Panel Evidence Under Cross-Section Dependency," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 13(1), pages 31-46.
    4. repec:seb:journl:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:147-174 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fernández-Rodríguez, Fernando & Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2016. "Using connectedness analysis to assess financial stress transmission in EMU sovereign bond market volatility," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 126-145.
    6. repec:eee:ecofin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:629-639 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ordoñez-Callamand, Daniel & Gomez-Gonzalez, Jose Eduardo & Melo-Velandia, Luis Fernando, 2017. "Sovereign default risk in OECD countries: Do global factors matter?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 629-639.
    8. Özmen, Erdal & Doğanay Yaşar, Özge, 2016. "Emerging market sovereign bond spreads, credit ratings and global financial crisis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 93-101.

    More about this item


    Bond spread; SVAR; Sovereign risk; Emerging market; Risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets


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