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Common Failings: How Corporate Defaults Are Correlated

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  • SANJIV R. DAS
  • DARRELL DUFFIE
  • NIKUNJ KAPADIA
  • LEANDRO SAITA

Abstract

We test the doubly stochastic assumption under which firms' default times are correlated only as implied by the correlation of factors determining their default intensities. Using data on U.S. corporations from 1979 to 2004, this assumption is violated in the presence of contagion or "frailty" (unobservable explanatory variables that are correlated across firms). Our tests do not depend on the time-series properties of default intensities. The data do not support the joint hypothesis of well-specified default intensities and the doubly stochastic assumption. We find some evidence of default clustering exceeding that implied by the doubly stochastic model with the given intensities. Copyright 2007 by The American Finance Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 62 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 93-117

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:62:y:2007:i:1:p:93-117

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  1. Lo, Andrew W., 1986. "Logit versus discriminant analysis : A specification test and application to corporate bankruptcies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 151-178, March.
  2. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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  4. Cynthia G. McDonald & Linda M. Van De Gucht, 1999. "High-Yield Bond Default And Call Risks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 409-419, August.
  5. Robert A. Jarrow & David Lando & Fan Yu, 2005. "Default Risk And Diversification: Theory And Empirical Implications," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26.
  6. Giesecke, Kay, 2004. "Correlated default with incomplete information," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1521-1545, July.
  7. P. Collin-Dufresne & R. Goldstein & J. Hugonnier, 2004. "A General Formula for Valuing Defaultable Securities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1377-1407, 09.
  8. Zhou, Chunsheng, 2001. "An Analysis of Default Correlations and Multiple Defaults," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 555-76.
  9. Darrel Duffie & Leandro Saita & Ke Wang, 2005. "Multi-Period Corporate Default Prediction With Stochastic Covariates," CARF F-Series CARF-F-047, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  10. Lennox, Clive, 1999. "Identifying failing companies: a re-evaluation of the logit, probit and DA approaches," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 347-364, July.
  11. Anil Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 2004. "Cyclical implications of the Basel II capital standards," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 18-31.
  12. Shumway, Tyler, 2001. "Forecasting Bankruptcy More Accurately: A Simple Hazard Model," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 101-24, January.
  13. Linda Allen & Anthony Saunders, 2003. "A survey of cyclical effects in credit risk measurement model," BIS Working Papers 126, Bank for International Settlements.
  14. Robert A. Jarrow, 2001. "Counterparty Risk and the Pricing of Defaultable Securities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1765-1799, October.
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