Skip to main content

CEP discussion paper

US Real Interest Rates and Default Risk in Emerging Economies


We empirically analyse the appropriateness of indexing emerging market sovereign debt to US real interest rates. We find that policy-induced exogenous increases in US rates raise default risk in emerging market economies, as hypothesised in the theoretical literature. However, we also find evidence that omitted variables which simultaneously increase US real interest rates and reduce the risk of default dominate the hypothesised relationship. We can only conclude that it’s not a good idea to index emerging market bonds to US real interest rates.


Nathan Foley-Fisher and Bernardo Guimaraes

October 2009     Paper Number CEPDP0952

Download PDF - US Real Interest Rates and Default Risk in Emerging Economies

This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's programme.