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Determinants of government bond spreads in the Euro area – in good times as in bad

  • Christian Aßmann
  • Jens Hogrefe

Despite the single currency, yields on government bonds in the Euro Area deviate from German bond yields. These bond spreads are usually attributed to differing default and liquidity risks. Recent research points out that time-varying global factors, approximated by risk measures or short term interest rates, play an important role for the evaluation of theses risks. In this paper, instead of proxy variables latent processes are assumed to model the aforementioned time variation. We find, that default risks measured via expected debt-to-GDP ratio explain a good stake of the variation of bond spreads in the Euro area at least between 2003 and the take-off of the financial crisis. During the financial crisis default risks or rather their evaluation increased but lost relative importance compared to liquidity risks

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1548.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1548
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  2. Gomez-Puig, Marta, 2006. "Size matters for liquidity: Evidence from EMU sovereign yield spreads," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 156-162, February.
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  6. Alessandro Beber & Michael W. Brandt & Kenneth A. Kavajecz, 2009. "Flight-to-Quality or Flight-to-Liquidity? Evidence from the Euro-Area Bond Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 925-957, March.
  7. Harvey, Andrew & Ruiz, Esther & Sentana, Enrique, 1992. "Unobserved component time series models with Arch disturbances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 129-157.
  8. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  9. R. Jankowitsch & H. Mosenbacher & S. Pichler, 2006. "Measuring the liquidity impact on EMU government bond prices," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 153-169.
  10. Salvador Barrios & Per Iversen & Magdalena Lewandowska & Ralph Setzer, 2009. "Determinants of intra-euro area government bond spreads during the financial crisis," European Economy - Economic Papers 388, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  11. Lorenzo Codogno & Carlo Favero & Alessandro Missale, 2003. "Yield spreads on EMU government bonds," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 503-532, October.
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