Systemic sovereign default risk: Lessons from the U.S. and Europe

We study the nature of systemic sovereign credit risk using CDS spreads for the U.S. Treasury, individual U.S. states, and major Eurozone countries. Using a multifactor affine framework that allows for both systemic and sovereign-specific credit shocks, we find that there is much less systemic risk among U.S. sovereigns than among Eurozone sovereigns. We find that both U.S. and Eurozone systemic sovereign risk are strongly related to financial market variables. These results provide strong support for the view that systemic sovereign risk has its roots in financial markets rather than in macroeconomic fundamentals.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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