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Does Sovereign Risk Differ for Domestic and Foreign Investors? Historical Evidence from Scandinavian Bond Markets

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Abstract

This paper shows that geographical investor heterogeneity strongly influences sovereign risk. While standard sovereign debt models mainly attribute the absence of sovereign defaults to foreign creditor retaliation, a new theoretical literature argues that domestic creditors also affect borrowing governments’ default decisions through channels of domestic politics. This paper examines this controversy using a newly assembled dataset on cross-listed Scandinavian sovereign yields traded at markets that abruptly went from integration to segmentation by capital controls and World War II. The results strongly suggest that domestic and foreign bond investors assessed different sovereign risks whereas more standard explanations based on macroeconomic factors, portfolio choice or risk aversion added little explanatory value. The study also documents large effects on recorded asset prices from institutional trading constraints (e.g., price limits), an issue largely neglected by previous research in historical long-run asset returns.

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  • Waldenström, Daniel, 2005. "Does Sovereign Risk Differ for Domestic and Foreign Investors? Historical Evidence from Scandinavian Bond Markets," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 585, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 18 Feb 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0585
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign risk; Investor heterogeneity; Market segmentation; Domestic debt; Political economy; Historical finance; Cliometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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