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Determinants of government bond spreads in the Euro Area: in good times as in bad


  • Aßmann, Christian
  • Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Aßmann, Christian & Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens, 2009. "Determinants of government bond spreads in the Euro Area: in good times as in bad," Kiel Working Papers 1548, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:1548

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Euro Area; bond spreads; time-varying coefficients; liquidity risk; default risk;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


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