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Macroeconomic volatility, debt dynamics, and sovereign interest rate spreads

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Abstract

While the relationship between volatility and risk is central to much of the financial literature it has not been incorporated systematically into assessment of sovereign debt sustainability. This paper attempts to fill this gap by studying how the probability distribution of sovereign debt to GDP ratios depends on the stochastic properties of underlying variables such as the real interest rate, the real growth rate, and the primary budget deficit. Due to the highly non-linear relationship between these variables and the debt ratios, Monte-Carlo simulations have to be used to estimate the probability distribution at different horizons. Using the right-hand tail of the distribution as a measure of the risk, we are able to show how the volatility of the underlying variables as well as potential interactions between them influences country risk. Using estimates of volatility parameters of a sample of developed and emerging markets, we construct risk measures for each of them. We hypothesize that this risk measure should be positively correlated with the spread of sovereign bonds of the countries. Preliminary econometric tests suggest that this is indeed the case. Thus, while conventional analyses of the determinants of sovereign spreads have not focused on volatility dynamics, financial markets seem to have incorporated it in sovereign bond pricing.

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  • Hans Genberg & Astrit Sulstarova, 2004. "Macroeconomic volatility, debt dynamics, and sovereign interest rate spreads," IHEID Working Papers 03-2004, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heiwp03-2004
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    1. Mizen, Paul & Tsoukas, Serafeim, 2012. "The response of the external finance premium in Asian corporate bond markets to financial characteristics, financial constraints and two financial crises," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 3048-3059.
    2. Jeanneret, Alexandre & Souissi, Slim, 2016. "Sovereign defaults by currency denomination," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 197-222.
    3. Panagiotis Petrakis & Emmanuel Papadakis & Nikoleta Daniilopoulou, 2012. "Public Statements on Sovereign Yield Spreads:The Greek Case," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 6(2), pages 5-16, December.
    4. Azad, A.S.M. Sohel & Fang, Victor & Hung, Chi-Hsiou, 2012. "Linking the interest rate swap markets to the macroeconomic risk: The UK and us evidence," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 38-47.
    5. Azad, A.S.M. Sohel & Batten, Jonathan A. & Fang, Victor, 2015. "What determines the yen swap spread?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-13.
    6. Dale F. Gray & Elena Loukoianova & Samuel W. Malone & Cheng Hoon Lim, 2008. "A Risk-Based Debt Sustainability Framework; Incorporating Balance Sheets and Uncertainty," IMF Working Papers 08/40, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Christian Senga & Danny Cassimon & Dennis Essers, 2018. "Sub-Saharan African Eurobond yields: What really matters beyond global factors?," BeFinD Working Papers 0123, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    8. Peat, Maurice & Svec, Jiri & Wang, Jue, 2015. "The effects of fiscal opacity on sovereign credit spreads," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 34-45.
    9. Cumhur ÞAHÝN & Hüseyin ALTAY, 2016. "Examination of the Relationship between Turkey’s Credit Default Swap (CDS) Points and Unemployment," Eurasian Business & Economics Journal, Eurasian Academy Of Sciences, vol. 4(4), pages 52-67, January.
    10. Spaliara, Marina-Eliza & Tsoukas, Serafeim, 2017. "Corporate failures and the denomination of corporate bonds: Evidence from emerging Asian economies over two financial crises," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 84-97.
    11. Mizenand, Paul & Tsoukasy, Serafeim, 2012. "The response of the external finance premium in Asian corporate bond markets to financial characteristics, financial constraints and two financial crises," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-42, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Macroeconomic volatility; debt dynamics; sovereign spreads;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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