Working Paper No. 1039

Trust Us to Repay: Social Trust, Long-Term Interest Rates and Sovereign Credit Ratings

Published: September 3, 2014Pages: 34Keywords: Trust; Credit ratings; Interest rates; Economic reformsJEL-codes: A13; G12

Trust Us to Repay: Social Trust, Long-Term Interest Rates and Sovereign Credit Ratings Andreas Bergh and Christian Bjørnskov


This paper asks whether the sensitivity of market long-term interest rates and credit ratings is associated with cross-country differences in informal institutions, measured by social trust. We note a number of theoretical mechanisms that could imply that similar objective problems are more likely to be effectively dealt with in higher-trust societies. A set of panel estimates across middle and high-income countries reveal that interest rates and ratings are substantially more sensitive to inflation and growth problems in low-trust countries. This finding sheds light on the differential market reactions to economic problems in seemingly comparable countries.

Andreas Bergh

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Mob: 070 779 0734
andreas.bergh@ifn.se

Christian Bjørnskov

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Ph: +45 87 16 48 19
Mob: +45 20 12 03 84
chbj@econ.au.dk

An Agenda for Europe

Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.

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