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What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging-Market Debt: Fundamentals or Market Sentiment?

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  • Barry Eichengreen
  • Ashoka Mody

Abstract

In this paper we analyze data on nearly 1,000 developing-country bonds issued in the years 1991-96 the recent episode of heavy reliance on bonded debt. We analyze both the issue decision of debtors and the pricing decision of investors, minimizing selectivity bias by treating the two issues jointly. Overall, the results confirm that higher credit quality translates into a higher probability of issue and a lower spread. Importantly, however, we find that observed changes in fundamentals explain only a fraction of the spread compression in the period leading up to the recent crisis in emerging markets.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6408
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nadeem Ul Haque & Manmohan S. Kumar & Nelson Mark & Donald J. Mathieson, 1996. "The Economic Content of Indicators of Developing Country Creditworthiness," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(4), pages 688-724, December.
    2. William R. Cline, 1995. "International Debt Reexamined," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 46.
    3. Ilmanen, Antti, 1995. " Time-Varying Expected Returns in International Bond Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 481-506, June.
    4. Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou, 1989. "Do the Secondary Markets Believe in Life After Debt?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 911, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Mendoza, Enrique G., 1996. "Mexico's balance-of-payments crisis: a chronicle of a death foretold," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 235-264, November.
    6. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1994. "The credit rating industry," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sum, pages 1-26.
    7. Mody, Ashoka & Yuko Kinoshita, 1997. "The usefulness of private and public information for foreign investment decisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1733, The World Bank.
    8. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1995. "Sovereign credit ratings," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 1(Jun).
    9. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
    10. Lee, Suk Hun, 1993. "Are the credit ratings assigned by bankers based on the willingness of LDC borrowers to repay?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 349-359, April.
    11. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    12. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    13. Huizinga, H.P., 1989. "The commercial bank claims on developing countries : How have the banks been affected?," Other publications TiSEM 1c3c7fe3-3bdf-42d9-9f7c-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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