Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Economics and Finance


Tyler Brough


A recent article in Journal of Economic History by Dasgupta and Ziblatt uses bond yields to analyze the political risk of the 19th century democratization legislation of Britain known as the Reform Acts. Dasgupta and Ziblatt find that the volatility of yields is relatively high during periods of legislation, and model the yields via GAM method, concluding that the political risk associated with the Reform Acts was high. I reproduce the study and comparing those times of 'high' volatility to all periods and find nothing to compare high-volatility periods to, suggesting that it is inconclusive whether the Reform Acts were truly politically risky. I also find that the data and study are less than satisfactory use of the GAM to model bond yields.