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The Euro Sovereign Debt Crisis, Determinants of Default Probabilities and Implied Ratings in the CDS Market: An Econometric Analysis

Author

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  • Carlos Santos

    () (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão - Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)

Abstract

In this paper we take an innovative econometric look at the Euro Zone Sovereign Debt Crisis. We are particularly interested in understanding which determinants have led investors to ask for higher yields on sovereign debt from the Euro shatter belt. We dismiss the definition of speculation previously used in the literature, on the basis of the irrelevance of Granger Causality as an operational tool for this purpose. Instead, we suggest that speculative behavior would only exist if market assessment would be unrelated to economic fundamentals of such countries. Using a cross section of countries, we improve on the scarce literature on the Econometrics of Credit Default Swap Markets on sovereign debt. Firstly, we use an ordered probit model to determine whether economic fundamentals are driving the implied rating assessments. Secondly, we provide a pioneering application of quantile regression to this domain, to determine which variables matter at different conditional quantiles of the implied default probability distribution. Finally, Fisher’s Z statistic is used to relate bond markets to domestic saving rates. Overall, the different methodologies support the conclusion that the domestic savings rate is lenders’ main concern. Economies with worse saving habits are penalized both in the CDS market, and in the sovereign bonds markets. Notwithstanding, for countries on the top quantiles of the implied default probabilities, public debt and external debt also play a significant role, increasing the likelihood of higher insurance premium in the derivatives market. When looking at the Portuguese Case it seems clear that public policies that fail to take savings into proper account shall always be deemed to fail, as the country had the lowest net savings rate in the EU27 in 2008, followed closely by Greece.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Santos, 2011. "The Euro Sovereign Debt Crisis, Determinants of Default Probabilities and Implied Ratings in the CDS Market: An Econometric Analysis," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 02, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
  • Handle: RePEc:cap:wpaper:022011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Machado, Jose A.F. & Silva, J. M. C. Santos, 2005. "Quantiles for Counts," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 1226-1237, December.
    2. Koenker R. & Geling O., 2001. "Reappraising Medfly Longevity: A Quantile Regression Survival Analysis," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 458-468, June.
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    4. Hausman, Jerry A. & Lo, Andrew W. & MacKinlay, A. Craig, 1992. "An ordered probit analysis of transaction stock prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 319-379, June.
    5. Yannis Bilias & Roger Koenker, 2001. "Quantile regression for duration data: A reappraisal of the Pennsylvania Reemployment Bonus Experiments," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 199-220.
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    7. Manski, Charles F., 1985. "Semiparametric analysis of discrete response : Asymptotic properties of the maximum score estimator," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 313-333, March.
    8. Santos, Carlos, 2008. "Impulse saturation break tests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 136-143, February.
    9. Carlos Santos & David Hendry & Soren Johansen, 2008. "Automatic selection of indicators in a fully saturated regression," Computational Statistics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 317-335, April.
    10. Lee, Myoung-jae, 1992. "Median regression for ordered discrete response," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 59-77.
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    13. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sovereign debt; Euro Area; Credit Default Swaps; Quantile Regression; Ordered Probit; savings rate;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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