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Fiscal institutions, fiscal policy and sovereign risk premia


  • Hallerberg, Mark
  • Wolff, Guntram B.


We investigate the effect of fiscal institutions such as the strength of the finance minister in the budget process and deficits on interest spreads contained in bond yields of the countries now belonging to the Eurozone. Deficits significantly increase risk premia measured by relative swap spreads. The effect of deficits is significantly lower under EMU. This effect partly results from neglecting the role of fiscal institutions. After controlling for institutional changes, fiscal policy remains a significant determinant of risk premia. We find that better institutions are connected with lower risk premia. Furthermore deficits and surpluses matter less for risk premia in countries with better institutions. This reflects the market perception, that better institutions will reduce fiscal dificulties and make the monitoring of annual developments less important. The results are robust to controlling for country fixed effects and different estimation methodologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hallerberg, Mark & Wolff, Guntram B., 2006. "Fiscal institutions, fiscal policy and sovereign risk premia," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,35, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:5099

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Nickel, Christiane, 2009. "What explains the surge in euro area sovereign spreads during the financial crisis of 2007-09?," Working Paper Series 1131, European Central Bank.
    2. Guntram B. Wolff & Alexander Schulz, 2008. "Sovereign bond market integration: the euro, trading platforms and globalisation," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 332, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    3. Panagiotis Petrakis & Emmanuel Papadakis & Nikoleta Daniilopoulou, 2012. "Public Statements on Sovereign Yield Spreads:The Greek Case," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 6(2), pages 5-16, December.
    4. Stähler, Nikolai, 2007. "Taxing deficits to restrain government spending and foster capital accumulation," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2007,26, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. Barry Eichengreen, 2010. "The Breakup of the Euro Area," NBER Chapters,in: Europe and the Euro, pages 11-51 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Gabrisch, Hubert & Orlowski, Lucjan T. & Pusch, Toralf, 2012. "Sovereign default Risk in the Euro-Periphery and the Euro-Candidate Countries," MPRA Paper 41265, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. David Hauner & Jiri Jonas & Manmohan Singh Kumar, 2010. "Sovereign Risk: Are the EU's New Member States Different?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(4), pages 411-427, August.
    8. Lars P. Feld & Alexander Kalb & Marc-Daniel Moessinger & Steffen Osterloh, 2013. "Sovereign Bond Market Reactions to Fiscal Rules and No-Bailout Clauses - The Swiss Experience," CESifo Working Paper Series 4195, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Schulz Alexander & Wolff Guntram B., 2009. "The German Sub-national Government Bond Market: Structure, Determinants of Yield Spreads and Berlin’s Forgone Bail-out," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(1), pages 61-83, February.
    10. Barry Eichengreen & Katharina Steiner, 2008. "Is Poland at Risk of a Boom-and-Bust Cycle in the Run-Up to Euro Adoption?," NBER Working Papers 14438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Steven A. Symansky & Xavier Debrun & Natan P. Epstein, 2008. "A New Fiscal Rule; Should Israel “Go Swiss?”," IMF Working Papers 08/87, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Nazim Belhocine & Salvatore Dell'Erba, 2013. "The Impact of Debt Sustainability and the Level of Debt on Emerging Markets Spreads," IMF Working Papers 13/93, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Gunther Tichy, 2012. "Zum Versagen der Marktdisziplinierung in der Finanzkrise," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13, pages 58-80, May.
    14. Kirsten H. Heppke-Falk & Guntram B. Wolff, 2008. "Moral Hazard and Bail-Out in Fiscal Federations: Evidence for the German Länder," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 425-446, August.
    15. Sanjeev Gupta & Amine Mati & Emanuele Baldacci, 2008. "Is it (Still) Mostly Fiscal? Determinants of Sovereign Spreads in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 08/259, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Elgin, Ceyhun & Uras, Burak R., 2013. "Public debt, sovereign default risk and shadow economy," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 628-640.
    17. Thomas Url, 2011. "Rating Agencies: Originator, Accelerant or Simply Dragged Into the Sovereign Debt Crisis?," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 84(12), pages 811-825, December.
    18. Manmohan S. Kumar & Jirí Jonáš & David Hauner, 2007. "Policy Credibility and Sovereign Credit; The Case of New EU Member States," IMF Working Papers 07/1, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Katia Rocha & Ajax Moreira, 2009. "O Impacto da Política Fiscal nos Spreads Soberanos: A Austeridade Fiscal e a Qualidade do Ajuste," Discussion Papers 1422, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    20. Rocha, Katia & Moreira, Ajax, 2010. "The role of domestic fundamentals on the economic vulnerability of emerging markets," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 173-182, June.

    More about this item


    Budget institutions; fiscal rules; sovereign risk premia; EMU; fiscal policy; government bond yields;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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