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When Is There a Strong Transfer Risk from the Sovereigns to the Corporates? Property Rights Gaps and CDS Spreads

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  • Bai, Jennie
  • Wei, Shang-Jin

Abstract

When a sovereign faces the risk of debt default, it may be tempted to expropriate the private sector. This may be one reason for why international investment in private companies has to take into account the sovereign risk. But the likelihood of a transfer from the sovereign risk to corporate default risks may be mitigated by legal institutions that provide strong property rights protection. Using a novel credit default swaps (CDS) dataset covering both government and corporate entities across 30 countries, this paper studies both the average strength of the transfer risks and the role of institutions in mitigating such risks. We find that (1) sovereign risk on average has a statistically and economically significant influence on corporate credit risks. All else equal, a 100 basis points increase in the sovereign CDS spread leads to an increase in corporate CDS spreads by 71 basis points. (2) The sovereign-corporate relation varies across corporations, with state-owned companies exhibiting a stronger relation. (3) However, strong property rights institutions tend to weaken the connection. In contrast, contracting institutions (protection of creditor rights or minority shareholder rights) do not appear to matter much in this context.

Suggested Citation

  • Bai, Jennie & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2012. "When Is There a Strong Transfer Risk from the Sovereigns to the Corporates? Property Rights Gaps and CDS Spreads," CEPR Discussion Papers 9252, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9252
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    Cited by:

    1. Camba-Méndez, Gonzalo & Serwa, Dobromił, 2016. "Market perception of sovereign credit risk in the euro area during the financial crisis," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 168-189.
    2. Bedendo, Mascia & Colla, Paolo, 2015. "Sovereign and corporate credit risk: Evidence from the Eurozone," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 34-52.
    3. Cristina Arellano & Andrew Atkeson & Mark Wright, 2016. "External and Public Debt Crises," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 191-244.
    4. repec:eee:finana:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:209-225 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Augustin, Patrick & Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Tang, Dragon Yongjun & Wang, Sarah Qian, 2014. "Credit Default Swaps: A Survey," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 9(1-2), pages 1-196, December.
    6. Andreasen, Eugenia, 2015. "Sovereign default, enforcement and the private cost of capital," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 411-427.
    7. Augustin, Patrick & Boustanifar, Hamid & Breckenfelder, Johannes & Schnitzler, Jan, 2016. "Sovereign to corporate risk spillovers," Working Paper Series 1878, European Central Bank.
    8. Yu, Sherry, 2017. "Sovereign and bank Interdependencies—Evidence from the CDS market," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 68-84.
    9. repec:eee:finsta:v:31:y:2017:i:c:p:93-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Düll, Robert & König, Felix & Ohls, Jana, 2017. "On the exposure of insurance companies to sovereign risk—Portfolio investments and market forces," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 93-106.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    CDS; contracting institutions; property rights institutions; sovereign risk; transfer risk;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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