Sovereign Credit Risk Co-movements in the Eurozone: Simple Interdependence or Contagion?
We investigate credit risk co-movements and contagion in sovereign debt markets of 17 industrialized countries for the period 2008-2012. We use dynamic conditional correlations of sovereign CDS spreads to detect contagion. This approach allows separating the channels through which contagion occurs from the determinants of simple interdependence. The results show that, first, sovereign credit risk comoves considerably, in particular among eurozone countries and during the sovereign debt crisis. Second, contagion cannot be attributed to one moment in time but varies across time and countries. Third, similarities in economic fundamentals, cross-country linkages in banking, and common market sentiment constitute the main channels of contagion.