IWH Bankruptcy Update: Wave of bankruptcies fails to materialise Considerably faster than the official statistics, the...
Four Research Clusters ...
IWH FDI Micro Database
IWH FDI Micro Database The IWH FDI Micro Database (FDI = Foreign Direct...
The Joint Dynamics of Sovereign Ratings and Government Bond Yields
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Can a negative shock to sovereign ratings invoke a vicious cycle of increasing government bond yields and further downgrades, ultimately pushing a country toward default? The narratives of public and political discussions, as well as of some widely cited papers, suggest this possibility. In this paper, we will investigate the possible existence of such a vicious cycle. We find no evidence of a bad long-run equilibrium and cannot confirm a feedback loop leading into default as a transitory state for all but the very worst ratings. We use a bivariate semiparametric dynamic panel model to reproduce the joint dynamics of sovereign ratings and government bond yields. The individual equations resemble Pesaran-type cointegration models, which allow for valid interference regardless of whether the employed variables display unit-root behavior. To incorporate most of the empirical features previously documented (separately) in the literature, we allow for different long-run relationships in both equations, nonlinearities in the level effects of ratings, and asymmetric effects in changes of ratings and yields. Our finding of a single good equilibrium implies the slow convergence of ratings and yields toward this equilibrium. However, the persistence of ratings is sufficiently high that a rating shock can have substantial costs if it occurs at a highly speculative rating or lower. Rating shocks that drive the rating below this threshold can increase the interest rate sharply, and for a long time. Yet, simulation studies based on our estimations show that it is highly improbable that rating agencies can be made responsible for the most dramatic spikes in interest rates.
The maths behind gut decisions First carefully weigh up the costs and benefits and then make a rational...
The New Europe
The new Europe The financial crisis is largely over, yet confidence in the ECB and EU...
Avoiding the Fall into the Loop: Isolating the Transmission of Bank-to-Sovereign Distress in the Euro Area and its Drivers
IWH Discussion Papers,
We isolate the direct bank-to-sovereign distress channel within the eurozone’s sovereign-bank-loop by exploiting the global, non-eurozone related variation in stock prices. We instrument banking sector stock returns in the eurozone with exposure-weighted stock market returns from non-eurozone countries and take further precautions to remove any eurozone crisis-related variation. We find that the transmission of instrumented bank distress, while economically relevant, is significantly smaller than the corresponding coefficient in the unadjusted OLS framework, confirming concerns on reverse causality and omitted variables in previous studies. Furthermore, we show that the spillover of bank distress is significantly stronger for countries with poorer macroeconomic performances, weaker financial sectors and financial regulation and during times of elevated political uncertainty.
Politische Determinanten staatlicher Ausfallrisiken
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Staatliche Zahlungsausfälle haben nicht selten politische Ursachen. Während ökonomische Rahmenbedingungen wie etwa Wirtschaftswachstum, Finanzstabilität oder globale Investorenstimmungen die Zahlungsfähigkeit eines Staates beeinflussen, wird die tatsächliche Rückzahlung von Staatsschulden letztendlich von der einheimischen Regierung entschieden. Die Zahlungswilligkeit einer Regierung spielt daher eine entscheidende Rolle für das Risiko eines staatlichen Zahlungsausfalls. In diesem Artikel wird der Einfluss politischer Faktoren auf das staatliche Ausfallrisiko für 27 Schwellen- und Entwicklungsländer im Zeitraum von 1996 bis 2009 untersucht. Die Auswertung von Anleihedaten zeigt, dass Investoren ein höheres Ausfallrisiko fürchten, falls ein Land politisch instabil ist oder von einer Rechts- bzw. Linkspartei regiert wird. Der Einfluss politischer Faktoren auf das staatliche Ausfallrisiko eines Landes sinkt mit dessen Grad an Demokratie und Integration in die Weltwirtschaft.
The Effects of Local Elections on National Military Spending: A Cross-country Study
Defence and Peace Economics,
In this paper, we study the domestic political determinants of military spending. Our conceptual framework suggests that power distribution over local and central governments influences the government provision of national public goods, in our context, military expenditure. Drawing on a large cross-country panel, we demonstrate that having local elections will decrease a country’s military expenditure markedly, controlling for other political and economic variables. According to our preferred estimates, a country’s military expenditure is on average 20% lower if its state government officials are locally elected, which is consistent with our theoretical prediction.
The Political Determinants of Sovereign Bond Yield Spreads
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This paper analyzes the political determinants of sovereign bond yield spreads using data for 27 emerging markets in the period 1996 to 2009. I find strong evidence that countries with parliamentary systems (as opposed to presidential regimes) and a low quality of governance face higher sovereign yield spreads, while the degree of democracy and elections play no significant role. A higher degree of political stability and the power to implement austerity measures significantly reduce sovereign yield spreads particularly in autocratic regimes, while no significant effect is detected for democratic countries. Overall, political determinants have a more pronounced impact on sovereign bond yield spreads in autocratic and closed regimes than in democratic and open countries.