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Incorporating the dynamics of leverage into default prediction

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  • Löffler, Gunter
  • Maurer, Alina
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    Abstract

    A firm’s current leverage ratio is one of the core characteristics of credit quality used in statistical default prediction models. Based on the capital structure literature, which shows that leverage is mean-reverting to a target leverage, we forecast future leverage ratios and include them in the set of default risk drivers. An out-of-sample analysis of default predictions from a hazard model reveals that the discriminative power increases substantially when leverage forecasts are included. We further document that credit ratings contain information beyond the one contained in standard variables but that this information is unrelated to forecasts of leverage ratios.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 12 ()
    Pages: 3351-3361

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:35:y:2011:i:12:p:3351-3361

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

    Related research

    Keywords: Default prediction; Discrete duration model; Leverage targeting; Mean reversion; Credit rating;

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