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Investor sentiment, flight-to-quality, and corporate bond comovement

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  • Bethke, Sebastian
  • Gehde-Trapp, Monika
  • Kempf, Alexander

Abstract

We examine the dynamics of bond correlation using a broad sample of US corporate bonds, and document that bond correlation varies heavily over time. We attribute this variation in bond correlation to variation in risk factor correlation reflecting time-varying flight-to-quality behavior of investors. We show that risk factor correlation increases when investor sentiment decreases, i.e., corporate bond investors exhibit stronger flight-to-quality when their sentiment is low. Thus, low investor sentiment leads to flightto- quality behavior and, ultimately, high bond correlation.

Suggested Citation

  • Bethke, Sebastian & Gehde-Trapp, Monika & Kempf, Alexander, 2015. "Investor sentiment, flight-to-quality, and corporate bond comovement," CFR Working Papers 13-06 [rev.3], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfrwps:1306r3
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bond correlation; risk factor correlation; flight-to-quality; investor sentiment;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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