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Liquidity Risk of Corporate Bond Returns: A Conditional Approach

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  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Yakov Amihud
  • Sreedhar T. Bharath

Abstract

We study the exposure of the US corporate bond returns to liquidity shocks of stocks and Treasury bonds over the period 1973-2007 in a regime - switching model. In one regime, liquidity shocks have mostly insignificant effects on bond prices, whereas in another regime, a rise in illiquidity produces significant but conflicting effects: Prices of investment-grade bonds rise while prices of speculative-grade (junk) bonds fall substantially (relative to the market). Relating the probability of these regimes to macroeconomic conditions we find that the second regime can be predicted by economic conditions that are characterized as “stress.” These effects, which are robust to controlling for other systematic risks (term and default), suggest the existence of time-varying liquidity risk of corporate bond returns conditional on episodes of flight to liquidity. Our model can predict the out-of-sample bond returns for the stress years 2008-2009. We find a similar pattern for stocks classified by high or low book-to-market ratio, where again, liquidity shocks play a special role in periods characterized by adverse economic conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16394.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as “Liquidity Risk of Corporate Bond Return s: A Conditional Approach” with Yakov Amihud and Sreedhar Bharath, Journal of Financial Economics , 110(2), 2013, 358-386.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16394

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  1. Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Liquidity and leverage," Staff Reports 328, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Viral V. Acharya & S. Viswanathan, 2011. "Leverage, Moral Hazard, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 99-138, 02.
  3. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2007. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 12939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Long Chen & David A. Lesmond & Jason Wei, 2007. "Corporate Yield Spreads and Bond Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 119-149, 02.
  5. Edward I. Altman & Brooks Brady & Andrea Resti & Andrea Sironi, 2005. "The Link between Default and Recovery Rates: Theory, Empirical Evidence, and Implications," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 2203-2228, November.
  6. Amy K. Edwards & Lawrence E. Harris & Michael S. Piwowar, 2007. "Corporate Bond Market Transaction Costs and Transparency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1421-1451, 06.
  7. Denis Gromb & Dimitri Vayanos, 2002. "Equilibrium and welfare in markets with financially constrained arbitrageurs," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 448, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2002. "Investing in equity mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 351-380, March.
  9. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2002. "International Asset Allocation With Regime Shifts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 1137-1187.
  10. Schaefer, Stephen M. & Strebulaev, Ilya A., 2008. "Structural models of credit risk are useful: Evidence from hedge ratios on corporate bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 1-19, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Dick-Nielsen, Jens & Feldhütter, Peter & Lando, David, 2012. "Corporate bond liquidity before and after the onset of the subprime crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 471-492.
  2. Massimo Guidolin, 2011. "Markov Switching Models in Empirical Finance," Working Papers 415, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Kalimipalli, Madhu & Nayak, Subhankar, 2012. "Idiosyncratic volatility vs. liquidity? Evidence from the US corporate bond market," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 217-242.

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