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An Empirical Analysis of the Pricing of Collateralized Debt Obligations




We use the information in collateralized debt obligations (CDO) prices to study market expectations about how corporate defaults cluster. A three-factor portfolio credit model explains virtually all of the time-series and cross-sectional variation in an extensive data set of CDX index tranche prices. Tranches are priced as if losses of 0.4%, 6%, and 35% of the portfolio occur with expected frequencies of 1.2, 41.5, and 763 years, respectively. On average, 65% of the CDX spread is due to firm-specific default risk, 27% to clustered industry or sector default risk, and 8% to catastrophic or systemic default risk. Copyright 2008 by The American Finance Association.

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  • Francis A. Longstaff & Arvind Rajan, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of the Pricing of Collateralized Debt Obligations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(2), pages 529-563, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:529-563

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Duffie, Darrell & Saita, Leandro & Wang, Ke, 2007. "Multi-period corporate default prediction with stochastic covariates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 635-665, March.
    2. Francis A. Longstaff & Sanjay Mithal & Eric Neis, 2005. "Corporate Yield Spreads: Default Risk or Liquidity? New Evidence from the Credit Default Swap Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2213-2253, October.
    3. John C. Cox & Jonathan E. Ingersoll Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 2005. "A Theory Of The Term Structure Of Interest Rates," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 5, pages 129-164 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Duffie, Darrell & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1999. "Modeling Term Structures of Defaultable Bonds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 687-720.
    5. Darrell Duffie & Jun Pan & Kenneth Singleton, 2000. "Transform Analysis and Asset Pricing for Affine Jump-Diffusions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1343-1376, November.
    6. Duffie, Darrell & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1997. " An Econometric Model of the Term Structure of Interest-Rate Swap Yields," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1287-1321, September.
    7. Sanjiv R. Das & Darrell Duffie & Nikunj Kapadia & Leandro Saita, 2007. "Common Failings: How Corporate Defaults Are Correlated," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 93-117, February.
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    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets


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