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Market conditions, default risk and credit spreads

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  • Tang, Dragon Yongjun
  • Yan, Hong

Abstract

This study empirically examines the impact of the interaction between market and default risk on corporate credit spreads. Using credit default swap (CDS) spreads, we find that average credit spreads decrease in GDP growth rate, but increase in GDP growth volatility and jump risk in the equity market. At the market level, investor sentiment is the most important determinant of credit spreads. At the firm level, credit spreads generally rise with cash flow volatility and beta, with the effect of cash flow beta varying with market conditions. We identify implied volatility as the most significant determinant of default risk among firm-level characteristics. Overall, a major portion of individual credit spreads is accounted for by firm-level determinants of default risk, while macroeconomic variables are directly responsible for a lesser portion.

Suggested Citation

  • Tang, Dragon Yongjun & Yan, Hong, 2010. "Market conditions, default risk and credit spreads," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 743-753, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:4:p:743-753
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit risk Credit default swaps Credit spreads Market conditions;

    JEL classification:

    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects

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