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On Emerging Economy Sovereign Spreads and Ratings

  • Andrew Powell
  • Juan Francisco Martínez

This paper analyzes alternative models for emerging sovereign ratings. Although a small number of economic fundamentals explain ratings reasonably well, variations in those economic fundamentals are themselves explained by a small number of world factors. On the other hand, global financial variables associated with risk aversion are additionally required in order to explain the significant spread compression at the end of 2006. To determine whether ratings matter for spreads, the paper compares results across different methodologies, in particular exploiting differences in opinion between rating agencies. The evidence from this and previous methodologies is that ratings do matter. Finally, the paper finds that global indicators of risk aversion have become less important for emerging market spreads and that the effect of sub-prime news is less than the effect of average news on emerging economy credit default swap (CDS) spreads.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 6735.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6735
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  1. Mora, Nada, 2006. "Sovereign credit ratings: Guilty beyond reasonable doubt?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 2041-2062, July.
  2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the Empirics of Sudden Stops: The Relevance of Balance-Sheet Effects," Research Department Publications 4367, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Marcio Garcia & Roberto Rigobon, 2004. "A Risk Management Approach to Emerging Market's Sovereign Debt Sustainability with an Application to Brazilian Data," NBER Working Papers 10336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 2000. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging Market Debt?," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 107-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Guillermo A. Calvo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 1999. "Regional Contagion and the Globalization of Securities Markets," NBER Working Papers 7153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kevin Cowan & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger, 2006. "Sovereign Debt in the Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts," Research Department Publications 4480, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Anastasia Guscina & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "Government Debt in Emerging Market Countries; A New Data Set," IMF Working Papers 06/98, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Axel Schimmelpfennig & Nouriel Roubini & Paolo Manasse, 2003. "Predicting Sovereign Debt Crises," IMF Working Papers 03/221, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo, 2003. "On the determinants of Original Sin: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 957-990, December.
  10. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Determinants and impact of sovereign credit ratings," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 37-53.
  11. António Afonso & Pedro Gomes & Philipp Rother, 2006. "What “Hides” Behind Sovereign Debt Ratings?," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/35, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
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