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Bond Insurance: What Is Special About Munis?

Author

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  • VIKRAM NANDA
  • RAJDEEP SINGH

Abstract

Close to 50% of municipal bonds are prepackaged with insurance at the time of issue. We offer a tax-based rationale for the emergence of third-party insurance of tax-exempt bonds. We argue that insurance adds value as it allows a third party to become, in a probabilistic sense, an issuer of tax-exempt securities. Insurance however reduces value by eliminating the possibility of a capital tax loss. While the net benefit from insurance increases with bond maturity, the benefit may not increase monotonically with default risk. We also provide empirical evidence supportive of the model's predictions. Copyright 2004 by The American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Vikram Nanda & Rajdeep Singh, 2004. "Bond Insurance: What Is Special About Munis?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2253-2280, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:59:y:2004:i:5:p:2253-2280
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    Cited by:

    1. McConnell, John J. & Saretto, Alessio, 2010. "Auction failures and the market for auction rate securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 451-469, September.
    2. repec:eee:irlaec:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:106-117 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:kap:rqfnac:v:49:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11156-016-0594-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2012. "Fiscal Imbalances and Borrowing Costs: Evidence from State Investment Losses," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 182-213, May.
    5. Shishir MATHUR, 2009. "Financing Community Facilities: A Case Study Of The Parks And Recreational General Obligation Bond Measure Of San Jose, California," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 4(2(11)), pages 34-49, May.
    6. Francis A. Longstaff, 2009. "Municipal Debt and Marginal Tax Rates: Is there a Tax Premium in Asset Prices?," NBER Working Papers 14687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:eee:moneco:v:90:y:2017:i:c:p:158-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Daniel Bergstresser & Randolph Cohen & Siddharth Shenai, 2015. "Skin in the game: The Performance of Insured and Uninsured Municipal Debt," Working Papers 88, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    9. Brune, Chris & Liu, Pu, 2011. "The contagion effect of default risk insurer downgrades: The impact on insured municipal bonds," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 492-502, September.
    10. Racheva-Sarabian, Anna & Ryvkin, Dmitry & Semykina, Anastasia, 2015. "The default of special district financing: Evidence from California," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 37-48.
    11. repec:eee:jfinec:v:129:y:2018:i:2:p:382-393 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Lim, Terence & Lo, Andrew W. & Merton, Robert C. & Scholes, Myron S., 2006. "The Derivatives Sourcebook," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 1(5–6), pages 365-572, April.

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