IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Fiscal space and sovereign risk pricing in a currency union

Listed author(s):
  • Ghosh, Atish R.
  • Ostry, Jonathan D.
  • Qureshi, Mahvash S.

We examine how membership in a currency union affects public debt sustainability and market assessments of default risk in eurozone countries. We argue that there exist offsetting effects: expectations of bailouts tend to make a given level of debt more sustainable, lowering bond yields and CDS rates, but constraints on the use of monetary policy would tend to have the opposite effect, pushing rates up especially as room for fiscal maneuver gets exhausted. We develop a formal concept of fiscal space (which takes account of the notion of fiscal fatigue under which there are limits to the government's ability to raise the primary surplus in response to higher debt), and apply it to the eurozone countries, investigating in particular how currency union membership affects CDS and bond rates during both quiet and turbulent times for a given amount of fiscal space. We find that in quiet times, CDS and bond rates for eurozone members were below what would be expected given their fiscal space (a bonus from currency union membership). But when the crisis erupted, CDS and bond yields rose more sharply for eurozone members than would be predicted based on their available fiscal space. Our interpretation is that sovereign bailouts did not occur with the hoped-for alacrity in euro-crisis countries, generating sharper penalties for sovereigns that belong to a currency union.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261560612001878
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 34 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 131-163

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:131-163
DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2012.11.008
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Fontana, Alessandro & Scheicher, Martin, 2016. "An analysis of euro area sovereign CDS and their relation with government bonds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 126-140.
  2. Aizenman, Joshua & Hutchison, Michael & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2013. "What is the risk of European sovereign debt defaults? Fiscal space, CDS spreads and market pricing of risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 37-59.
  3. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Ostry, Jonathan D., 2008. "International evidence on fiscal solvency: Is fiscal policy "responsible"?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1081-1093, September.
  4. Atish R. Ghosh & Jun I. Kim & Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry & Mahvash S. Qureshi, 2013. "Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 4-30, February.
  5. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
  6. Gande, Amar & Parsley, David C., 2005. "News spillovers in the sovereign debt market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 691-734, March.
  7. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide & Gomes, Pedro, 2012. "Sovereign credit ratings and financial markets linkages: Application to European data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 606-638.
  8. Bernoth, Kerstin & Erdogan, Burcu, 2012. "Sovereign bond yield spreads: A time-varying coefficient approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 639-656.
  9. Norden, Lars & Weber, Martin, 2004. "Informational efficiency of credit default swap and stock markets: The impact of credit rating announcements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2813-2843, November.
  10. Hull, John & Predescu, Mirela & White, Alan, 2004. "The relationship between credit default swap spreads, bond yields, and credit rating announcements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2789-2811, November.
  11. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. De Grauwe, Paul, 2011. "Governance of a Fragile Eurozone," CEPS Papers 5523, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  13. Jonathan David Ostry & Abdul d Abiad, 2005. "Primary Surpluses and sustainable Debt Levels in Emerging Market Countries," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 05/6, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Clark, Todd E. & van Wincoop, Eric, 2001. "Borders and business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 59-85, October.
  15. Maltritz, Dominik, 2012. "Determinants of sovereign yield spreads in the Eurozone: A Bayesian approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 657-672.
  16. Ismailescu, Iuliana & Kazemi, Hossein, 2010. "The reaction of emerging market credit default swap spreads to sovereign credit rating changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2861-2873, December.
  17. Gros, Daniel, 2011. "External versus Domestic Debt in the Euro Crisis," CEPS Papers 5677, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  18. Salvador Barrios & Per Iversen & Magdalena Lewandowska & Ralph Setzer, 2009. "Determinants of intra-euro area government bond spreads during the financial crisis," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 388, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  19. Jonathan David Ostry & Atish R. Ghosh & Jun I Kim & Mahvash S Qureshi, 2010. "Fiscal Space," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/11, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Heppke-Falk, Kirsten H. & Hüfner, Felix P., 2004. "Expected budget deficits and interest rate swap spreads - Evidence for France, Germany and Italy," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,40, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:131-163. 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: (Dana Niculescu)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.