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The Value of Institutions for Financial Markets; Evidence From Emerging Markets

  • Thomas Stratmann
  • Bernardin Akitoby

This paper investigates the value of political institutions for financial markets, using panel data from emerging market countries. We test the hypothesis that changes in political institutions, such as improvements in democratic rights and increased government accountability, have a direct effect on sovereign interest rate spreads. We find that financial markets value institutions over and above the economic and fiscal outcomes these institutions shape. Democracy and accountability generally lower sovereign spreads, political risk tends to increase them, and financial markets tend to view election years negatively.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 09/27.

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Length: 23
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/27
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  1. Edwards, Sebastian, 1986. "The pricing of bonds and bank loans in international markets : An empirical analysis of developing countries' foreign borrowing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 565-589, June.
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  17. R. Gaston Gelos, Ratna Sahay and Guido Sandleris, 2008. "Sovereign Borrowing by Developing Countries: What Determines Market Access?," Business School Working Papers 2008-02, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
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  19. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Hong G. Min, 1998. "Determinants of emerging market bond spread : do economic fundamentals matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1899, The World Bank.
  26. Bernardin Akitoby & Thomas Stratmann, 2008. "Fiscal Policy and Financial Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1971-1985, November.
  27. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 1999. "Government Size and Automatic Stabilizers: International and Intranational Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "The Case for Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1419-1447.
  29. Block, Steven A. & Vaaler, Paul M., 2004. "The price of democracy: sovereign risk ratings, bond spreads and political business cycles in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 917-946, October.
  30. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
  31. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
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