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Banking and Sovereign Risk in the Euro Area

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  • Gerlach, Stefan
  • Schulz, Alexander
  • Wolff, Guntram B.

Abstract

We study the determinants of euro area sovereign bond spreads since the introduction of the euro. An aggregate risk factor is a main driver of spreads, both directly and indirectly by interacting with the size and structure of national banking sectors. When aggregate risk increases, countries with large banking sectors with low equity ratios experience greater widening in yield spreads, suggesting that financial markets perceive a larger risk that governments will have to rescue banks, increasing public debt and therefore sovereign risk. Moreover, government debt levels and forecasts of future fiscal deficits are also significant determinants of sovereign spreads.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerlach, Stefan & Schulz, Alexander & Wolff, Guntram B., 2010. "Banking and Sovereign Risk in the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 7833, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7833
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    banking; EMU; liquidity; sovereign bond markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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