NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Alessandro Beber, Michael W. Brandt, Kenneth A. Kavajecz

NBER Working Paper No. 12376
Issued in July 2006
NBER Program(s):   AP   IFM

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 non-trivial 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.

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Published: Alessandro Beber & Michael W. Brandt & Kenneth A. Kavajecz, 2009. "Flight-to-Quality or Flight-to-Liquidity? Evidence from the Euro-Area Bond Market," Review of Financial Studies, Oxford University Press for Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 925-957, March.

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