How Sovereign Is Sovereign Credit Risk?

How Sovereign Is Sovereign Credit Risk?

By
Kenneth J. Singleton, Francis A. Longstaff, Jun Pan, Lasse H. Pedersen
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. April
2011, Vol. 3, Issue 2, Pages 75-103

We study the nature of sovereign credit risk using an extensive set of sovereign CDS data. We find that the majority of sovereign credit risk can be linked to global factors. A single principal component accounts for 64 percent of the variation in sovereign credit spreads. Furthermore, sovereign credit spreads are more related to the US stock and high-yield markets than they are to local economic measures. We decompose credit spreads into their risk premium and default risk components. On average, the risk premium represents about a third of the credit spread.