The COVID-19 pandemic and sovereign credit risk

Wei-Fong Pan, Xinjie Wang, Ge Wu, Weike Xu
2021 China Finance Review International  
PurposeThe purpose of this study is to examine the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on sovereign credit default swap (CDS) spreads using a large sample of countries.Design/methodology/approachIn this paper, the authors use a wide set of the sovereign CDS data of 78 countries. To measure the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors use the daily change of confirmed cases collected from Our World in Data. They use panel regressions to estimate the impact of the
more » ... VID-19 pandemic on sovereign credit risk.FindingsThe authors show how sovereign CDS spreads have widened significantly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the most conservative estimate, a 1% increase in COVID-19 infections leads to a 0.17% increase in sovereign CDS spreads. Furthermore, this effect is stronger for developing countries and countries with worse healthcare systems. Government policies partially offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, although these same policies also lead to widening sovereign CDS spreads. Sovereign CDS spreads narrow dramatically several months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the results suggest that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive shock to the global financial stability.Originality/valueThis paper provides new evidence that COVID-19 widens sovereign CDS spreads. The authors further show that this widening effect is felt most strongly in developing economies.
doi:10.1108/cfri-01-2021-0010 fatcat:chtrdxppyfdczk5xhfipu6pseu