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Common Failings: How Corporate Defaults are Correlated

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  • Sanjiv Das
  • Darrell Duffie
  • Nikunj Kapadia
  • Leandro Saita

Abstract

We develop, and apply to data on U.S. corporations from 1979-2004, tests of the standard doubly-stochastic assumption under which firms'default times are correlated only as implied by the correlation of factors determining their default intensities. 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. There is also some evidence of default clustering in excess of that implied by the doubly-stochastic model with the given intensities.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11961.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11961

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  1. 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.
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  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. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Michael B. Gordy, 2002. "A risk-factor model foundation for ratings-based bank capital rules," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-55, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Darrell Duffie & Leandro Siata & Ke Wang, 2006. "Multi-Period Corporate Default Prediction With Stochastic Covariates," NBER Working Papers 11962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Linda Allen & Anthony Saunders, 2003. "A survey of cyclical effects in credit risk measurement model," BIS Working Papers 126, Bank for International Settlements.
  13. Giesecke, Kay, 2004. "Correlated default with incomplete information," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1521-1545, July.
  14. 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.
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