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Trust Us to Repay: Social Trust, Long-Term Interest Rates and Sovereign Credit Ratings

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This paper asks whether the sensitivity of market long-term interest rates and credit ratings is associated with cross-country differences in informal institutions, measured by social trust. We note a number of theoretical mechanisms that could imply that similar objective problems are more likely to be effectively dealt with in higher-trust societies. A set of panel estimates across middle and high-income countries reveal that interest rates and ratings are substantially more sensitive to inflation and growth problems in low-trust countries. This finding sheds light on the differential market reactions to economic problems in seemingly comparable countries.

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File URL: http://www.ifn.se/wfiles/wp/wp1039.pdf
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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 1039.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 03 Sep 2014
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1039
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Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Regulation and Distrust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1015-1049.
  2. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
  3. James C. Cox & Elinor Ostrom, & James M. Walker & Antonio Jamie Castillo & Eric Coleman & Robert Holahan & Michael Schoon & Brian Steed, 2009. "Trust in Private and Common Property Experiments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 957-975, April.
  4. Hill, Paula & Brooks, Robert & Faff, Robert, 2010. "Variations in sovereign credit quality assessments across rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1327-1343, June.
  5. Blaine Robbins, 2012. "Institutional Quality and Generalized Trust: A Nonrecursive Causal Model," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(2), pages 235-258, June.
  6. Klaus M. Schmidt, 2011. "Social Preferences and Competition," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 207-231, 08.
  7. Biglaiser, Glen & Staats, Joseph L., 2012. "Finding the “Democratic Advantage” in Sovereign Bond Ratings: The Importance of Strong Courts, Property Rights Protection, and the Rule of Law," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 515-535, July.
  8. Antonio Afonso, 2003. "Understanding the determinants of sovereign debt ratings: Evidence for the two leading agencies," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 27(1), pages 56-74, March.
  9. Bissoondoyal-Bheenick, Emawtee, 2005. "An analysis of the determinants of sovereign ratings," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 251-280, February.
  10. António Afonso & Pedro Gomes & Philipp Rother, 2011. "Short‐ and long‐run determinants of sovereign debt credit ratings," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 1-15, 01.
  11. Boix, Carles & Posner, Daniel N., 1998. "Social Capital: Explaining Its Origins and Effects on Government Performance," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(04), pages 686-693, October.
  12. Christian Bjørnskov, 2010. "How does social trust lead to better governance? An attempt to separate electoral and bureaucratic mechanisms," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 323-346, July.
  13. Jefferson Duarte & Stephan Siegel & Lance Young, 2012. "Trust and Credit: The Role of Appearance in Peer-to-peer Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(8), pages 2455-2484.
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