Government risk premiums in the bond market: EMU and Canada
This paper focuses on risk premiums paid by central governments in Europe and sub-national governments in Germany, Spain, and Canada, using data for bond yield spreads for the period 1991-2005. We find that risk premiums by central governments respond positively to debt and deficits; German states enjoyed a favourable position in financial markets before EMU but not thereafter; Spanish and Canadian provinces risk premiums over the whole period; German and Spanish sub-central governments pay liquidity-related interest rate premiums; Canadian and German provinces/states that benefit from fiscal equalization lower spreads. This is evidence of market discipline at work and of credibility of the EU no-bailout clause.
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