COVID-induced sovereign risk in the euro area: When did the ECB stop the spread?
Aymeric Ortmans and
European Economic Review, 2021, vol. 137, issue C
This paper studies how the announcement of the ECB’s monetary policies stopped the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to the European sovereign debt market. We show that up to March 9, the occurrence of new cases in euro area countries had a sizeable and persistent effect on 10-year sovereign bond spreads relative to Germany: 10 new confirmed cases per million people were accompanied by an immediate spread increase of 0.03 percentage points (ppt) that lasted 5 days, for a total increase of 0.35 ppt. For periods afterwards, the effect falls to near zero and is not significant. We interpret this change as an indicator of the success of the ECB’s March 12 press conference, despite the “we are not here to close spreads” controversy. Our results hold for the stock market, providing further evidence of the effectiveness of the ECB’s March 12 announcements in stopping the financial turmoil. A counterfactual analysis shows that without the shift in the sensitivity of sovereign bond markets to COVID-19, spreads would have surged to 4.2% in France, 12.5% in Spain, and 19.5% in Italy by March 18, when the ECB’s Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme was finally announced.
Keywords: COVID-19; European Central Bank; Sovereign debt; Monetary policy; Local projections (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E52 E58 E65 H63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (13) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:137:y:2021:i:c:s0014292121001537
Access Statistics for this article
European Economic Review is currently edited by T.S. Eicher, A. Imrohoroglu, E. Leeper, J. Oechssler and M. Pesendorfer
More articles in European Economic Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().