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Balance sheet effects and the country risk premium: An empirical investigation

  • Juan Berganza
  • Roberto Chang
  • Alicia Herrero


This paper investigates empirically whether there is a negative relationship between a country’s risk premium and the balance sheet effect, as implied by recent theories emphasizing financial imperfections. We find evidence that balance sheet effects, stemming from the increase in the external debt service after an unexpected real depreciation, significantly raise the risk premium. We also show that the increase in the risk premium is not due to the debt service as such. While the result holds for the whole sample, we show that it is mainly driven by those countries with the largest financial imperfections, as argued by imperfect capital market theories. Particularly large real depreciations also seem to be disproportionately important, meaning that the balance sheet effects may be strongest at times of economic crisis, when large devaluations occur.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 140 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 592-612

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:140:y:2004:i:4:p:592-612
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  1. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-879.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2001. "A Corporate Balance Sheet Approach to Currency Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 3092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist & Fabio M. Natalucci, 2007. "External Constraints on Monetary Policy and the Financial Accelerator," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 295-330, 03.
  4. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
  5. Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza & Ernesto H. Stein, 2000. "Why Do Countries Float the Way They Float?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6467, Inter-American Development Bank.
  6. Hoyt Bleakley & Kevin Cowan, 2002. "Corporate dollar debt and depreciations: much ado about nothing?," Working Papers 02-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Luis Felipe Cespedes & Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 2000. "Balance Sheets and Exchange Rate Policy," NBER Working Papers 7840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Calvo, Guillermo A, 2001. "Capital Markets and the Exchange Rate with Special Reference to the Dollarization Debate in Latin America," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 312-34, May.
  9. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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