IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

Firm heterogeneity and credit risk diversification

  • Hanson, Samuel G.
  • Pesaran, M. Hashem
  • Schuermann, Til

This paper examines the impact of neglected heterogeneity on credit risk. We show that neglecting heterogeneity in firm returns and/or default thresholds leads to underestimation of expected losses (EL), and its effect on portfolio risk is ambiguous. Once EL is controlled for, the impact of neglecting parameter heterogeneity is complex and depends on the source and degree of heterogeneity. We show that ignoring differences in default thresholds results in overestimation of risk, while ignoring differences in return correlations yields ambiguous results. Our empirical application, designed to be typical and representative, combines both and shows that neglected heterogeneity results in overestimation of risk. Using a portfolio of U.S. firms we illustrate that heterogeneity in the default threshold or probability of default, measured for instance by a credit rating, is of first order importance in affecting the shape of the loss distribution: including ratings heterogeneity alone results in a 20% drop in loss volatility and a 40% drop in 99.9% VaR, the level to which the risk weights of the New Basel Accord are calibrated.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927-5398(07)00115-6
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Empirical Finance.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 583-612

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:15:y:2008:i:4:p:583-612
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jempfin

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. M. Hashem Pesaran & Til Schuermann & Björn-Jakob Treutler & Scott M. Weiner & April, . "Macroeconomic Dynamics and Credit Risk: A Global Perspective," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 03-13, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Chamberlain, Gary & Rothschild, Michael, 1983. "Arbitrage, Factor Structure, and Mean-Variance Analysis on Large Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1281-304, September.
  3. Lucas, André & Klaassen, Pieter & Spreij, Peter, 1999. "An analytic approach to credit risk of large corporate bond and loan portfolios," Serie Research Memoranda 0018, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  4. 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.
  5. Jon Frye, 2000. "Depressing recoveries," Emerging Issues, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Oct.
  6. Shumway, Tyler, 2001. "Forecasting Bankruptcy More Accurately: A Simple Hazard Model," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 101-24, January.
  7. Mella-Barral, Pierre & Perraudin, William, 1997. " Strategic Debt Service," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 531-56, June.
  8. Black, Fischer & Cox, John C, 1976. "Valuing Corporate Securities: Some Effects of Bond Indenture Provisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 351-67, May.
  9. Sanjiv Das & Darrell Duffie & Nikunj Kapadia & Leandro Saita, 2006. "Common Failings: How Corporate Defaults are Correlated," NBER Working Papers 11961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  11. Gordy, Michael B., 2000. "A comparative anatomy of credit risk models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 119-149, January.
  12. 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.).
  13. Jafry, Yusuf & Schuermann, Til, 2004. "Measurement, estimation and comparison of credit migration matrices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2603-2639, November.
  14. Darrell Duffie & Ke Wang, 2004. "Multi-Period Corporate Failure Prediction with Stochastic Covariates," NBER Working Papers 10743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Maria Vassalou & Yuhang Xing, 2004. "Default Risk in Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 831-868, 04.
  17. Kenneth D. Garbade, 2001. "Pricing Corporate Securities as Contingent Claims," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262072238.
  18. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "Financial Ratios, Discriminant Analysis And The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(4), pages 589-609, 09.
  19. Hanson, Samuel & Schuermann, Til, 2006. "Confidence intervals for probabilities of default," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2281-2301, August.
  20. Crouhy, Michel & Galai, Dan & Mark, Robert, 2000. "A comparative analysis of current credit risk models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 59-117, January.
  21. Duffie, Darrell & Lando, David, 2001. "Term Structures of Credit Spreads with Incomplete Accounting Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 633-64, May.
  22. 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.
  23. Giesecke, Kay & Weber, Stefan, 2004. "Cyclical correlations, credit contagion, and portfolio losses," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 3009-3036, December.
  24. Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The arbitrage theory of capital asset pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 341-360, December.
  25. Mark Broadie & Mikhail Chernov & Suresh Sundaresan, 2007. "Optimal Debt and Equity Values in the Presence of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1341-1377, 06.
  26. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
  27. Lennox, Clive, 1999. "Identifying failing companies: a re-evaluation of the logit, probit and DA approaches," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 347-364, July.
  28. Hayne E. Leland and Klaus Bjerre Toft., 1995. "Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-259, University of California at Berkeley.
  29. Robert A. Jarrow & David Lando & Fan Yu, 2005. "Default Risk And Diversification: Theory And Empirical Implications," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26.
  30. Yu, Fan, 2005. "Accounting transparency and the term structure of credit spreads," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 53-84, January.
  31. Duffie, Darrell, 2005. "Credit risk modeling with affine processes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 2751-2802, November.
  32. Joost Driessen, 2005. "Is Default Event Risk Priced in Corporate Bonds?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 165-195.
  33. Stefan Weber & Kay Giesecke, 2003. "Credit Contagion and Aggregate Losses," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 246, Society for Computational Economics.
  34. M. Davis & V. Lo, 2001. "Infectious defaults," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(4), pages 382-387.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:15:y:2008:i:4:p:583-612. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.