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Recovery rates, default probabilities, and the credit cycle

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  • Bruche, Max
  • González-Aguado, Carlos

Abstract

In recessions, the number of defaulting firms rises. On top of this, the average amount recovered on the bonds of defaulting firms tends to decrease. This paper proposes an econometric model in which this joint time-variation in default rates and recovery rate distributions is driven by an unobserved Markov chain, which we interpret as the "credit cycle". This model is shown to fit better than models in which this joint time-variation is driven by observed macroeconomic variables. We use the model to quantitatively assess the importance of allowing for systematic time-variation in recovery rates, which is often ignored in risk management and pricing models.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruche, Max & González-Aguado, Carlos, 2010. "Recovery rates, default probabilities, and the credit cycle," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 754-764, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:4:p:754-764
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit Recovery rate Default probability Business cycle Capital requirements Markov chain;

    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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