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Giovanni Calice

15 August 2014
This study investigates the dynamics of the sovereign CDS term premium for five European countries. The CDS term premium can be regarded as a forward-looking measure of idiosyncratic sovereign default risk as perceived by financial markets. Using a Markov-switching unobserved component model, we decompose the daily CDS term premium into two components of statistically different nature and link them in a vector autoregression to various daily observed financial market variables. We find that such decomposition is vital for understanding the short-term dynamics of this premium. The strongest impacts can be attributed to CDS market liquidity, local stock returns, and overall risk aversion. By contrast, the impact of shocks from the sovereign bond market is rather muted. Therefore, the CDS market microstructure effect and investor sentiment play the main roles in sovereign risk evaluation in real time. Moreover, we also find that the CDS term premium response to shocks is regime-dependent and can be ten times stronger during periods of high volatility.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G24 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Investment Banking, Venture Capital, Brokerage, Ratings and Ratings Agencies
Macroprudential Research Network