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The determinants of sovereign bond yield spreads in the EMU

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  • Kontonikas, Alexandros
  • Arghyrou, Michael G.
  • Afonso, António

Abstract

We use a panel of euro area countries to assess the determinants of long-term sovereign bond yield spreads over the period 1999.01-2010.12. We find that, unlike the period preceding the global financial crisis, European government bond yield spreads are wellexplained by macro- and fiscal fundamentals over the crisis period. We also find that the menu of macro and fiscal risks priced by markets has been significantly enriched since March 2009, including the risk of the crisis’ transmission among EMU member states, international risk and liquidity risk. Finally, we find that sovereign credit ratings are statistically significant in explaining spreads, yet compared to macro- and fiscal fundamentals their role is limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Kontonikas, Alexandros & Arghyrou, Michael G. & Afonso, António, 2012. "The determinants of sovereign bond yield spreads in the EMU," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-88, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:387
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sovereign yields; government debt; panel analysis; credit ratings;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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