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Decomposing Euro-Area Sovereign Spreads: Credit and Liquidity Risks


  • Alain Monfort
  • Jean-Paul Renne


This article presents an intensity-based model of euro-area sovereign spreads. To identify liquidity-pricing effects, we exploit the information contained in the spreads between bonds issued by a German agency (KfW) and their sovereign counterparts. KfW’s liabilities being guaranteed by the German government, these spreads are essentially liquidity-driven. Liquidity effects are found to account for a sizeable share of spreads’ fluctuations. After having filtered risk premiums out of the spreads, we estimate the physical default probabilities of eleven countries. Physical probabilities of default are lower than risk-neutral ones, consistently with the existence of a nondiversifiable euro-area sovereign credit risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Monfort & Jean-Paul Renne, 2014. "Decomposing Euro-Area Sovereign Spreads: Credit and Liquidity Risks," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(6), pages 2103-2151.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revfin:v:18:y:2014:i:6:p:2103-2151.

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    Cited by:

    1. Dufrénot, Gilles & Gente, Karine & Monsia, Frédia, 2016. "Macroeconomic imbalances, financial stress and fiscal vulnerability in the euro area before the debt crises: A market view," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 123-146.
    2. Lekniūtė, Zina & Beetsma, Roel & Ponds, Eduard, 2019. "U.S. municipal yields and unfunded state pension liabilities," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 15-32.
    3. Marcello Pericoli & Marco Taboga, 2015. "Decomposing euro area sovereign spreads: credit, liquidity and convenience," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1021, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Guillaume Horny & Simone Manganelli & Benoit Mojon, 2018. "Measuring Financial Fragmentation in the Euro Area Corporate Bond Market," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(4), pages 1-19, October.
    5. Anna Maria Gambaro & Riccardo Casalini & Gianluca Fusai & Alessandro Ghilarducci, 2019. "A market-consistent framework for the fair evaluation of insurance contracts under Solvency II," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 42(1), pages 157-187, June.
    6. Tsuruta, Masaru, 2020. "Decomposing the term structures of local currency sovereign bond yields and sovereign credit default swap spreads," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    7. Gambaro, Anna Maria & Casalini, Riccardo & Fusai, Gianluca & Ghilarducci, Alessandro, 2018. "Quantitative assessment of common practice procedures in the fair evaluation of embedded options in insurance contracts," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 117-129.
    8. 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.
    9. Hattori, Takahiro, 2019. "J-liquidity measure: The term structure of the liquidity premium in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 61-72.
    10. Driessen, Joost & Nijman, Theodore E. & Simon, Zorka, 2018. "Much ado about nothing: A study of differential pricing and liquidity of short and long term bonds," SAFE Working Paper Series 238, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    11. Beetsma, Roel & de Jong, Frank & Giuliodori, Massimo & Widijanto, Daniel, 2017. "Realized (co)variances of eurozone sovereign yields during the crisis: The impact of news and the Securities Markets Programme," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 14-31.
    12. Wellmann, Dennis & Trück, Stefan, 2018. "Factors of the term structure of sovereign yield spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 56-75.
    13. Jeanneret, Alexandre & Souissi, Slim, 2016. "Sovereign defaults by currency denomination," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 197-222.
    14. De Santis, Roberto A. & Stein, Michael, 2016. "Correlation changes between the risk-free rate and sovereign yields of euro area countries," Working Paper Series 1979, European Central Bank.
    15. Dubecq, Simon & Monfort, Alain & Renne, Jean-Paul & Roussellet, Guillaume, 2016. "Credit and liquidity in interbank rates: A quadratic approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 29-46.
    16. Bernal, Oscar & Gnabo, Jean-Yves & Guilmin, Grégory, 2016. "Economic policy uncertainty and risk spillovers in the Eurozone," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 24-45.
    17. Moisă Altăr & Alexandru-Adrian Cramer & Adam-Nelu Altăr-Samuel, 2015. "Sovereign Financial Asset Market Linkages across Europe During the Euro Zone Debt Crisis," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(4), pages 29-49, December.

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