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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. G. Andrew Karolyi & Rene M. Stulz, 2002. "Are Financial Assets Priced Locally or Globally?," NBER Working Papers 8994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder di Mauro, Beatrice, 2004. "The Politics Of Debt Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 4683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Charemza, Wojciech W. & Majerowska, Ewa, 2000. "Regulation of the Warsaw Stock Exchange: The portfolio allocation problem," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 555-576, April.
  6. Daniel Waldenstrom & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Using Markets to Measure Pre-War Threat Assessments: The Nordic Countries facing World War II," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-27, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  7. Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 2088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James R. Lothian, 2003. "The Internationalization of Money and Finance and the Globalization of Financial Markets," International Finance 0311003, EconWPA.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Paolo Mauro & Nathan Sussman & Yishay Yafeh, 2002. "Emerging Market Spreads: Then Versus Now," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 695-733, May.
  12. Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade," Staff Reports 142, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Brian D. Wright & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 2000. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 621-639, June.
  14. 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.
  15. repec:rus:hseeco:123922 is not listed on IDEAS
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