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A Non-Gaussian Panel Time Series Model for Estimating and Decomposing Default Risk

  • Koopman, Siem Jan
  • Lucas, André

We model 1981–2005 quarterly default frequencies for a panel of U.S. firms in different rating and age classes from the Standard and Poor database. The data are decomposed into systematic and firm-specific risk components, where the systematic component reflects the general economic conditions and the default climate. We need to cope with: the shared exposure of each age cohort, industry, and rating class to the same systematic risk factor; strongly non-Gaussian features of the individual time series; possible dynamics of an unobserved common risk factor; changing default probabilities over the age of the rating; and missing observations. We propose a non-Gaussian multivariate state-space model that deals with all of these issues simultaneously. The model is estimated using importance sampling techniques that have been modified to a multivariate setting. We show in a simulation study that such a multivariate approach improves the performance of the importance sampler. In our empirical work, we find that systematic credit risk may differ substantially in terms of magnitude and timing across industries.

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Article provided by American Statistical Association in its journal Journal of Business and Economic Statistics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2008)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 510-525

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Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:26:y:2008:p:510-525
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  1. Neil Shephard & Michael K Pitt, 1995. "Likelihood analysis of non-Gaussian parameter driven models," Economics Papers 15 & 108., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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  3. Siem Jan Koopman & Andr� Lucas, 2003. "Business and Default Cycles for Credit Risk," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-062/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 09 Jan 2003.
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  15. Dietsch, Michel & Petey, Joel, 2004. "Should SME exposures be treated as retail or corporate exposures? A comparative analysis of default probabilities and asset correlations in French and German SMEs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 773-788, April.
  16. Bangia, Anil & Diebold, Francis X. & Kronimus, Andre & Schagen, Christian & Schuermann, Til, 2002. "Ratings migration and the business cycle, with application to credit portfolio stress testing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 445-474, March.
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