, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 197–213 | Cite as

Contagion across Eurozone’s sovereign spreads and the Core-Periphery divide

  • Elisabetta Croci Angelini
  • Francesco FarinaEmail author
  • Enzo Valentini
Original Paper


This paper investigates the causes of disproportionate increases of sovereign yields with respect to the interest rate on the 10 years German Bund within the Eurozone. Empirical evidence drawn from the Bank for International Settlements dataset on banks’ portfolios shows that rapid financial integration, following the launch of the monetary union, resulted in excess exposure of Core countries’ banks in the Peripheral countries’ financial assets. In order to endogenize the possibility of contagion effects, we conduct econometric estimates through a Global Vector Autoregressive model, where each country’s spread depends upon all Eurozone countries’ spreads. Results show that after the burst of the financial crisis the Core countries’ sovereign yields are essentially determined by the international risk aversion, whereas the spreads of Peripheral countries mainly depend on fundamentals, namely the public debt/GDP ratio and the Real Effective Exchange Rate values with respect to the Eurozone average. These results are supported by the estimate of an impulse response analysis. Macroeconomic failures in public finances and competitiveness seem to originate the exceptional increases in sovereign spreads of the Periphery, through a contagion effect which is limited to this group of Eurozone countries.


Sovereign bond spreads Monetary union International risk aversion Contagion 

JEL Classification

E42 F36 F42 G12 H63 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MacerataMacerataItaly
  2. 2.University of SienaSienaItaly

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