Flight-to-Quality or Flight-to-Liquidity? Evidence from the Euro-Area Bond Market

Beber, A., Brandt, M. W. & Kavajecz, K. A. (2009). Flight-to-Quality or Flight-to-Liquidity? Evidence from the Euro-Area Bond Market. Review of Financial Studies, 22(3), pp. 925-957. doi: 10.1093/rfs/hhm088

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Do bond investors demand credit quality or liquidity? The answer is both, but at different times and for different reasons. Using data on the Euro-area government bond market, which features a unique negative correlation between credit quality and liquidity across countries, we show that the bulk of sovereign yield spreads is explained by differences in credit quality, though liquidity plays a nontrivial role, especially for low credit risk countries and during times of heightened market uncertainty. In contrast, the destination of large flows into the bond market is determined almost exclusively by liquidity. We conclude that credit quality matters for bond valuation but that, in times of market stress, investors chase liquidity, not credit quality.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Finance
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19093

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