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Growth options, macroeconomic conditions, and the cross section of credit risk

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  • Arnold, Marc
  • Wagner, Alexander F.
  • Westermann, Ramona

Abstract

This paper develops a structural equilibrium model with intertemporal macroeconomic risk, incorporating the fact that firms are heterogeneous in their asset composition. Compared with firms that are mainly composed of invested assets, firms with growth options have higher costs of debt because they are more volatile and have a greater tendency to default during recession when marginal utility is high and recovery rates are low. Our model matches empirical facts regarding credit spreads, default probabilities, leverage ratios, equity premiums, and investment clustering. Importantly, it also makes predictions about the cross section of all these features.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnold, Marc & Wagner, Alexander F. & Westermann, Ramona, 2013. "Growth options, macroeconomic conditions, and the cross section of credit risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 350-385.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:107:y:2013:i:2:p:350-385 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2012.08.017
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    1. repec:oup:rcorpf:v:6:y:2017:i:1:p:1-38. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:jbfina:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:19-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jeon, Haejun & Nishihara, Michi, 2015. "The effects of business cycle and debt maturity on a firm's investment and default decisions," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 326-351.
    4. Erwan Morellec & Boris Nikolov & Norman Schürhoff, 2015. "Agency Conflicts Around the World," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 15-21, Swiss Finance Institute, revised Apr 2016.
    5. Marc ARNOLD & Dirk HACKBARTH & Tatjana XENIA PUHAN, "undated". "Financing Asset Sales and Business Cycles," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 14-11, Swiss Finance Institute.
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    7. Jeon, Haejun & Nishihara, Michi, 2014. "Macroeconomic conditions and a firm’s investment decisions," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 398-409.
    8. Luo, Pengfei & Yang, Zhaojun, 2017. "Real options and contingent convertibles with regime switching," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 122-135.
    9. Arnold, Marc & Westermann, Ramona, 2015. "The Value of Creditor Governance: Debt Renegotiations In and Outside Distress," Working Papers on Finance 1514, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance, revised Jul 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital structure; Credit spread puzzle; Growth options; Macroeconomic risk; Value premium;

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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