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Emerging Market Spreads; Then Versus Now


  • Yishay Yafeh
  • Paolo Mauro
  • Nathan Sussman


This paper analyzes yield spreads on sovereign debt issued by emerging markets using modern data from the 1990s and newly-collected historical data on debt traded in London during 1870–1913, a previous “golden era” for international capital market integration. Applying several empirical approaches, we show that the co-movement of spreads across emerging markets is higher today than it was in the historical sample. We also show that sharp changes in spreads today tend to be mostly related to global events, whereas country-specific events played a bigger role in 1870–1913. Although we find some evidence that economic fundamentals, too, co-move more strongly today than at that earlier time, our interpretation of the results is that today’s investors pay less attention to country-specific events than their predecessors did in 1870–1913.

Suggested Citation

  • Yishay Yafeh & Paolo Mauro & Nathan Sussman, 2000. "Emerging Market Spreads; Then Versus Now," IMF Working Papers 00/190, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:00/190

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
    3. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1998. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging-Market Debt: Fundamentals or Market Sentiment?," NBER Working Papers 6408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kao, Chihwa, 1999. "Spurious regression and residual-based tests for cointegration in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 1-44, May.
    5. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2003. "The Unholy Trinity of Financial Contagion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 51-74, Fall.
    6. Reisen, Helmut, 2003. "Ratings since the Asian crisis," Copublicaciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1790, December.
    7. Sy, Amadou N. R., 2002. "Emerging market bond spreads and sovereign credit ratings: reconciling market views with economic fundamentals," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 380-408, December.
    8. Torsten Sløk & Mike Kennedy, 2004. "Factors Driving Risk Premia," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 385, OECD Publishing.
    9. Patrick McGuire & Martijn A Schrijvers, 2003. "Common factors in emerging market spreads," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
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