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Why Does Sovereign Risk Differ for Domestic and Foreign Investors? Evidence from Scandinavia, 1938­­–1948

Recent theoretical models suggest that the costs governments face when defaulting on their domestic and external debt may differ considerably. This paper examines if this proposed cost difference is reflected in sovereign risk spreads across domestic and foreign markets. Specifically, I analyze market yields on Danish government debt in both Denmark and Sweden during 1938–1948, i.e., a period full of political shocks as well as a wartime segmentation of Scandinavian capital markets. By linking the exogenous wartime shocks to changes in the costs of defaulting on domestic and external sovereign debt, it is found that these costs explain a significant part of the variation in the sovereign risk spread across markets. The result is robust to a multitude of tests and the inclusion of additional yield spread influences such as differences in macroeconomic fluctuations, portfolio allocation opportunities, local risk aversion and microstructure institutions.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 677.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 23 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0677
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  1. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "One Reason Countries Pay Their Debts: Renegotiation and International Trade," Working Papers 042002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  2. Kenneth M. Kletzer and Brian D. Wright., 1998. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-100, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Lothian, James R., 2002. "The internationalization of money and finance and the globalization of financial markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 699-724, November.
  4. Lothian, James R. & Wu, Liuren, 2011. "Uncovered interest-rate parity over the past two centuries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 448-473, April.
  5. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daniel Waldenström & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Using Markets to Measure Pre-War Threat Assessments: The Nordic Countries facing World War II," IEW - Working Papers 308, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
  8. Chinn, Menzie D., 2006. "The (partial) rehabilitation of interest rate parity in the floating rate era: Longer horizons, alternative expectations, and emerging markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 7-21, February.
  9. Paolo Mauro, 2000. "Emerging Market Spreads: Then Versus Now," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-FE-03, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Jeremy A.Rogoff Bulow & Kenneth, 1986. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 43, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  11. Wojciech W. Charemza & Ewa Majerowska, . "Regulation of the Warsaw Stock Exchange: The Portfolio Allocation Problem," Discussion Papers in European Economics 98/1, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  12. G. Andrew Karolyi & Rene M. Stulz, 2002. "Are Financial Assets Priced Locally or Globally?," NBER Working Papers 8994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Working papers 8813, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder di Mauro, Beatrice, 2004. "The Politics Of Debt Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 4683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. repec:rus:hseeco:123922 is not listed on IDEAS
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