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Bloodshed or Reforms? The Determinants of Sovereign Bond Spreads in 1870-1913 and Today

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  • Mauro, Paolo
  • Sussman, Nathan
  • Yafeh, Yishay

Abstract

Drawing on a newly-collected data set on bond yields, macroeconomic variables, and news of various categories for a panel of emerging markets, we provide the first comparative analysis of the determinants of sovereign bond spreads in the first era of financial globalization and bond finance (1870-1913) and today (1994-2002). We find that news about wars or episodes of politically-motivated violence are a significant and robust determinant of spreads; fiscal variables also play a role; in contrast, news about institutional reforms seldom have a rapid and significant impact. There are also important differences between the two eras: country-specific fundamentals account for a greater share of variation in spreads during the pre-WWI period than today.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauro, Paolo & Sussman, Nathan & Yafeh, Yishay, 2006. "Bloodshed or Reforms? The Determinants of Sovereign Bond Spreads in 1870-1913 and Today," CEPR Discussion Papers 5528, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5528
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paolo Mauro & Nathan Sussman & Yishay Yafeh, 2002. "Emerging Market Spreads: Then versus Now," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 695-733.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    3. Mauro, Paolo & Sussman, Nathan & Yafeh, Yishay, 2007. "Emerging Markets and Financial Globalization: Sovereign Bond Spreads in 1870-1913 and Today," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199226139.
    4. Flandreau, Marc & Sussman, Nathan, 2004. "Old Sins: Exchange Rate Clauses and European Foreign Lending in the 19th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 4248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
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    7. Obstfeld,Maurice & Taylor,Alan M., 2005. "Global Capital Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671798.
    8. Daron Acemoglu, 2005. "Constitutions, Politics and Economics: A Review Essay on Persson and Tabellini's "The Economic Effect of Constitutions"," NBER Working Papers 11235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Sy, Amadou N. R., 2002. "Emerging market bond spreads and sovereign credit ratings: reconciling market views with economic fundamentals," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 380-408, December.
    10. Hong G. Min, 1998. "Determinants of emerging market bond spread : do economic fundamentals matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1899, The World Bank.
    11. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Schnabel, Isabel & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2006. "How Do Official Bailouts Affect the Risk of Investing in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1689-1714, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastián Nieto Parra & Javier Santiso, 2006. "The usual suspects: Investment Banks’ Recommendations and Emerging Markets," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/806, Sciences Po.
    2. Moser, Christoph, 2007. "The Impact of Political Risk on Sovereign Bond Spreads - Evidence from Latin America," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 24, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bond yields; emerging markets; financial globalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

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