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Are European sovereign bonds fairly priced? The role of modeling uncertainty

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  • Leo de Haan
  • Jeroen Hessel
  • Jan Willem van den End

Abstract

This paper examines the extent to which large swings of sovereign yields in euro area countries during the sovereign debt crisis can be attributed to fundamentals. We focus on the inherent uncertainty in bond yield models, which is often overlooked in the literature. We show that the outcomes are strongly affected by modeling choices with regard to i) the confidence bands for the model prediction, ii) the assumption whether the model coefficients are similar across countries or not, iii) the sample selection, iv) the inclusion of financial variables and v) the choice of time-varying coefficients. These choices affect the explanatory power of macro fundamentals and the extent of mispricing. We find substantial misalignment compared to fundamentals for Greek yields, in most specifications also for Portugal and Ireland, but for the other EMU countries, including Spain and Italy, the evidence is less clear cut. This calls for modesty in interpreting bond yield models and for cautiousness when using them in policymaking.

Suggested Citation

  • Leo de Haan & Jeroen Hessel & Jan Willem van den End, 2013. "Are European sovereign bonds fairly priced? The role of modeling uncertainty," DNB Working Papers 399, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:399
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim de Vries & Jakob de Haan, 2016. "Credit ratings and bond spreads of the GIIPS," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 107-111, February.
    2. Jørgen Bølstad & Christoph Elhardt, 2015. "To bail out or not to bail out? Crisis politics, credibility, and default risk in the Eurozone," European Union Politics, , vol. 16(3), pages 325-346, September.
    3. Michel Aglietta & Xavier Ragot, 2015. "Érosion du tissu productif en France. Causes et remèdes," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(6), pages 95-150.
    4. Christoph Große Steffen & Maximilian Podstawski, 2016. "Ambiguity and Time-Varying Risk Aversion in Sovereign Debt Markets," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1602, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Michel Aglietta & Xavier Ragot, 2015. "Érosion du tissu productif en France. Causes et remèdes," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(6), pages 95-150.
    6. Jeroen Hessel & Niels Gilbert & Jasper de Jong, 2017. "Capitalising on the euro. Options for strengthening the EMU," DNB Occasional Studies 1502, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Kobielarz, Michal, 2018. "The economics of monetary unions," Other publications TiSEM b0293536-68ec-4905-bffd-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Jasper de Jong, 2018. "The effect of fiscal announcements on interest spreads: Evidence from the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 584, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    9. Blot, Christophe & Ducoudré, Bruno & Timbeau, Xavier, 2016. "Sovereign debt spread and default in a model with self-fulfilling prophecies and asymmetric information," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 281-299.
    10. Valerio Filoso, Valerio & Panico, Carlo & Papagni, Erasmo & Francesco, Purificato & Vázquez Suarez, Marta, 2016. "Causes and timing of the European debt crisis: An econometric evaluation," MPRA Paper 75847, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Große Steffen, Christoph, 2015. "Uncertainty shocks and non-fundamental debt crises: An ambiguity approach," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112936, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Leo de Haan & Robert Vermeulen, 2018. "The impact of sovereign debt ratings on euro area cross-border holdings of euro area sovereign debt," DNB Working Papers 620, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    13. Bijsterbosch, Martin & Falagiarda, Matteo, 2015. "The macroeconomic impact of financial fragmentation in the euro area: Which role for credit supply?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 93-115.
    14. Jack Bekooij & Jon Frost & Remco van der Molen & Krzysztof Muzalewski, 2016. "Hazardous tango: Sovereign-bank interdependencies across countries and time," DNB Working Papers 541, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    15. repec:eee:phsmap:v:490:y:2018:i:c:p:1295-1308 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Amtenbrink Fabian & Repasi René & De Haan Jakob, 2016. "Is there Life in the Old Dog Yet? Observations on the Political Economy and Constitutional Viability of Common Debt Issuing in the Euro Area," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 605-633, November.
    17. Moisă Altăr & Alexandru-Adrian Cramer & Adam-Nelu Altăr-Samuel, 2015. "Sovereign Financial Asset Market Linkages across Europe During the Euro Zone Debt Crisis," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(4), pages 29-49, December.
    18. Ryan van Lamoen & Simona Mattheussens & Martijn Dröes, 2017. "Quantitative easing and exuberance in government bond markets: Evidence from the ECB's expanded asset purchase program," DNB Working Papers 548, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    19. Niels Gilbert, 2019. "Euro area sovereign risk spillovers before and after the ECB's OMT announcement," DNB Working Papers 636, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    20. Martijn (M.I.) Droes & Ryan van Lamoen & Simona Mattheussens, 2017. "Quantitative Easing and Exuberance in Government Bond Markets: Evidence from the ECB's Expanded Assets Purchase Program," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-080/IV, Tinbergen Institute.
    21. repec:eee:jimfin:v:83:y:2018:i:c:p:93-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Jakob de Haan & Jeroen Hessel & Niels Gilbert, 2014. "Reforming the architecture of EMU: Ensuring stability in Europe," DNB Working Papers 446, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    23. Knüppel, Malte & Vladu, Andreea L., 2016. "Approximating fixed-horizon forecasts using fixed-event forecasts," Discussion Papers 28/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign bond; Interest rate; Risk premium;

    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
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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