Systematic or Idiosyncratic? Spillover Effects in Corporate Bond Markets and Portfolio Implications


Asset Pricing, Empirische Kapitalmarktforschung, Risk & Optimization


  • Contagion
  • Corporate Bonds
  • Financial stability
  • Idiosyncratic risk
  • Panel VAR
  • Spillover indices
  • Systematic risk


Salachas, E. Bektic, D.


Periods with high financial distress and uncertainty are characterized by increased co-movement in corporate bond markets. In this paper, we study the dynamic interactions among corporate bond returns in a period from 2004 to 2016 that covers important macroeconomic, financial and political events. In particular, we provide a framework for the evaluation of contagion among corporate bonds in different regions during a period with increased financial turmoil. We measure contagion in terms of dynamic spillovers, which capture the degree of homogeneity in bond returns. Our specification distinguishes two sources of bond risk: the systematic risk and the idiosyncratic risk. To account for a market-level analysis of co-movement we employ a panel VAR model in which the variables (bond markets) are treated as endogenous. Based on our results, the systematic risk component accounts for a larger portion of variation in bond returns relative to the idiosyncratic component, indicating the existence of homogeneity in global corporate bond markets. The emerging markets are also net receivers of international shocks, whereas innovations in U.S. bond markets contribute importantly to the instability in global bond markets.

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