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Economic freedom and sovereign credit ratings and default risk

Author

Listed:
  • Saurav Roychoudhury
  • Robert A. Lawson

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to show that economic policy impacts sovereign debt risk in addition to economic performance. Design/methodology/approach - Regression analysis was employed to determine the factors that contribute to sovereign bond ratings and bond spreads for a sample of 93 countries from 2000 to 2006. Findings - After controlling for common factors like per capita gross domestic production, growth, and political regime, the results suggest that a two unit (or a 2.4 standard deviation) drop in the economic freedom index represents approximately a 50 percent higher cost of borrowing for a country. Originality/value - The paper contributes to the empirical literature on sovereign credit risk by identifying factors found to be the most significant in determining sovereign credit ratings and bond spreads.

Suggested Citation

  • Saurav Roychoudhury & Robert A. Lawson, 2010. "Economic freedom and sovereign credit ratings and default risk," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 149-162, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jfeppp:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:149-162
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Graciela Kaminsky & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2002. "Emerging Market Instability: Do Sovereign Ratings Affect Country Risk and Stock Returns?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, pages 171-195.
    2. Jakob De Haan & Susanna Lundström & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2006. "Market-oriented institutions and policies and economic growth: A critical survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 157-191, April.
    3. Marshall L. Stocker, 2005. "Equity Returns And Economic Freedom," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, pages 583-594.
    4. Alexander W. Butler & Larry Fauver, 2006. "Institutional Environment and Sovereign Credit Ratings," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 53-79, September.
    5. Gwartney, James & Lawson, Robert, 2003. "The concept and measurement of economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 405-430, September.
    6. James D . Gwartney & Randall G . Holcombe & Robert A . Lawson, 2006. "Institutions and the Impact of Investment on Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 255-273, May.
    7. Berggren, Niclas, 2003. "The Benefits of Economic Freedom: A Survey," Ratio Working Papers 4, The Ratio Institute.
    8. Brooks, Robert & Faff, Robert W. & Hillier, David & Hillier, Joseph, 2004. "The national market impact of sovereign rating changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 233-250, January.
    9. Roman Kraeussl, "undated". "Do Changes in Sovereign Credit Ratings Contribute to Financial Contagion in Emerging Market Crises?," Working Papers 0314, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
    10. Joshua Hall & Robert Lawson, 2009. "Economic Freedom and Peace," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, pages 445-446.
    11. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Determinants and impact of sovereign credit ratings," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 37-53.
    12. Robert A. Lawson, 2006. "On Testing the Connection Between Economic Freedom and Growth," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, pages 398-406.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sang-Heui Lee & Jay Wyk, 2015. "National institutions and logistic performance: a path analysis," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, pages 733-747.
    2. Chowdhury, M. Ashraful Ferdous & Haque, M. Mahmudul & Alhabshi, Syed Othman & Masih, Abul Mansur M., 2016. "Socioeconomic Development and Its Effect on Performance of Islamic Banks: Dynamic Panel Approaches," MPRA Paper 71888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stocker, Marshall L., 2016. "The price of freedom: Idiosyncratic currency devaluations," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, pages 312-325.
    4. Daniel M. Gropper, Robert A. Lawson, and Jere T. Thorne Jr., 2011. "Economic Freedom and Happiness," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, pages 237-255.
    5. Lin, Kun-Li & Doan, Anh Tuan & Doong, Shuh-Chyi, 2016. "Changes in ownership structure and bank efficiency in Asian developing countries: The role of financial freedom," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 19-34.
    6. Blau, Benjamin M. & Brough, Tyler J. & Thomas, Diana W., 2014. "Economic freedom and the stability of stock prices: A cross-country analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 182-196.
    7. Chortareas, Georgios E. & Girardone, Claudia & Ventouri, Alexia, 2013. "Financial freedom and bank efficiency: Evidence from the European Union," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1223-1231.

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