The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper uses a panel data estimation of a simple univariate model of sovereign spreads on ratings to analyze statistically significant deviations from the estimated relationship. We find evidence of an asymmetric adjustment of spreads and ratings when such deviations are significant. In addition, the paper illustrates how significant disagreements between market and rating agencies' views can be used as a signal that further technical and sovereign analysis is warranted. For instance, we find that spreads were "excessively low" for most emerging markets before the Asian crisis. More recently, spreads were "excessively high" for a number of emerging markets.