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Risk perceptions and fundamental effects on sovereign spreads

Dimitris Georgoutsos and Petros Migiakis ()

No 250, Working Papers from Bank of Greece

Abstract: We examine the determinants of spreads based on views regarding sovereign riskiness. The empirical analysis relies on panel data estimation techniques for 30 sovereign bonds for the period of 2009Q1 to 2017Q1, with data in quarterly frequency. We find that indeed there is a wide asymmetry in the effects exercised by sovereign spreads’ determinants, which is related to the riskiness of the sovereign. Low-risk spreads are found to be more sensitive to the prospects of higher growth rates and inflation; high-risk spreads are found to be more sensitive to idiosyncratic volatility and global volatility. Also, our results indicate that primary surpluses indeed lower spreads, but this reduction is not strong enough to ‘shield’ the sovereign against volatility; thus, policy makers should avoid ‘noise’ that may undermine investor confidence by increasing idiosyncratic volatility.

Keywords: sovereign spreads; credit ratings; quantile regressions; investor perceptions; fundamentals; volatility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F34 F45 G12 G15 H30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-09
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