The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Michael Gapen, Dale Gray, Cheng Lim, and Yingbin Xiao
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper develops a comprehensive new framework to measure and analyze sovereign risk. Since traditional macroeconomic vulnerability indicators and accounting-based measures do not address risk in a comprehensive and forward-looking way, the contingent claims approach is used to construct a marked-to-market balance sheet for the sovereign, and derive a set of credit-risk indicators that serve as a barometer of sovereign risk. Applications to 12 emerging market economies show the risk indicators to be robust and highly correlated with market spreads. The framework can help policymakers design risk mitigation strategies and rank policy options using a calibrated structural model unique to each economy.