We examine the effect of sovereign credit default swaps (CDS) trading initiation on the occurrence of sovereign debt crises (SDC). Estimations on a large sample of 141 countries for 1980-2013 reveal that, by affecting the fiscal stance, CDS initiation increases by around 1.5 percentage points on average the probability of SDC in countries with CDS compared to the other countries. This result holds for different robustness tests and is found to be stronger for developing countries, for countries with initial lower creditworthiness, and when the degrees of central bank independence and public sector transparency are low. Consequently, compared to existing work emphasizing favorable effects, CDS trading initiation is found to have adverse effects, by increasing the occurrence of SDC. These opposite effects should fuel the literature on measuring the consequences of CDS trading initiation, and its design and implementation from a policy perspective.

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Macroeconomic Dynamics
Department of Economics

Balima, H.W. (Hippolyte Wenéyam), Combes, J.-L. (Jean-Louis), & Minea, A. (2018). THE "DARK SIDE" of CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS INITIATION: A CLOSE LOOK at SOVEREIGN DEBT CRISES. Macroeconomic Dynamics, 1–30. doi:10.1017/S1365100518000627