Essays on Sovereign Debt and Commodity Markets

This dissertation empirically studies sovereign lending and commodity markets from three different but related angles. First, it analyzes the boom and bust periods of sovereign bond issuances starting from the date when Russia placed its first bond in international capital markets in 1815 (chapter 1). Second, it studies commodity price drops as a persistent factor associated with a rise in sovereign default risk among commodity dependent countries (chapter 2). Lastly, it sheds light on the evolution of maturity of sovereign bonds at issuance and the factors associated with the rise of (ultra-)long bonds (chapter 3). Besides the topical relation, the three papers unite their long-term perspective: While chapter 2 already covers 150 years of commodity price movements and sovereign risk, chapter 1 and chapter 3 address 200 years of sovereign lending.


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