We specify and estimate a no-arbitrage model for sovereign CDS contracts in which countries’ default intensities depend on economic and financial indicators. To facilitate identification and to distinguish the importance of local and global covariates, we estimate a model with three global and four local covariates using CDS spreads for five maturities and twenty-five countries. The model provides a good fit. The impact of the economic and financial variables on spreads is consistent with economic intuition, and substantially varies across countries and over time. Estimated risk premiums are highly variable and peak during the 2008 financial crisis for most countries.

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