The Impact of Sovereign Risk — New Research on Credit Default Swap Markets wins WRDS Best Paper Award

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), the leading data research platform and business intelligence tool for corporate, academic and government institutions worldwide, is proud to announce the winners of the Southern Finance Association (SFA) Best Paper Award for Empirical Research. Andy Naranjo, Bank of America Associate Professor; Jongsub Lee, Assistant Professor; and Stace Sirmans, Ph.D. student, all from the Department of Finance, Insurance & Real Estate in the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida, were recognized for their research paper, The Exodus from Sovereign Risk: Sovereign Ceiling Violations in Credit Default Swap Markets. The paper examines how private sector firms can delink from sovereign risk. WRDS presented the award to the researchers at the Southern Finance Association conference on November 22, 2013.

In the aftermath of the global financial meltdown, firms’ abilities to raise capital have been impacted dramatically by sovereign risk. In credit default swap (CDS) markets, Naranjo, Lee and Sirmans found that geographic location of holdings and cross stock listings impacted a firm’s ability to delink from sovereign risk and maintain better credit ratings than those more closely linked to sovereign risk. Their findings can help investors determine actual risk in CDS markets, especially in this post-crisis stage. In addition, credit agencies could utilize CDS data – including sovereign linkage, firm location and location of assets – to determine credit ratings faster and more accurately than by relying purely on sovereign ceiling violations data.

“WRDS has a long and strong commitment to the research community, and we are constantly adding datasets and resources to support researchers and serve academic, corporate and government users better,” said Robert Zarazowski, Senior Director of WRDS. “We’re also eager to highlight the work of outstanding researchers, so sponsoring the Best Paper Award makes a lot of sense for us. For WRDS, advancing the field of academic research is a win for everyone.”

The researchers relied on Markit CDS Datasets, which are available through WRDS. Their research adds significantly to existing explorations of sovereign ceiling violations; international linkages and the impact of cross listings; and the role of local market characteristics and country-specific rules on credit risk. The scope of data collection necessary to conduct research for the paper was extremely complex, including micro-details on country-specific rules for over 2,300 firms in 54 countries.

“We are extremely honored to receive this Best paper Award and be recognized by WRDS,” said Andy Naranjo. “Shining a spotlight on the work of researchers and helping the field of knowledge expand is both important and valuable. Jongsub, Stace and I appreciate the opportunity to share our findings and to be recognized for our research.”

About WRDS and the Wharton School

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is the leading data research platform and business intelligence tool for over 30,000 corporate, academic, government and nonprofit clients in 31 countries. WRDS provides the user with one location to access over 200 terabytes of data across multiple disciplines including Finance, Marketing, and Economics. WRDS provides flexible data delivery options including a powerful web query method that reduces research time, and the WRDS Cloud for executing research and strategy development. Our Analytics team, doctoral-level support and rigorous data review and validation give clients the confidence to tailor research within complex databases and create a wide range of reliable data models including Portfolio Construction & Benchmarks, Event Studies, Returns and Market-to-Book Ratios and Momentum.

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of more than 92,000 graduates.