Structural models of credit risk are useful: Evidence from hedge ratios on corporate bonds
Structural models of credit risk provide poor predictions of bond prices. We show that, despite this, they provide quite accurate predictions of the sensitivity of corporate bond returns to changes in the value of equity (hedge ratios). This is important since it suggests that the poor performance of structural models may have more to do with the influence of non-credit factors rather than their failure to capture the credit exposure of corporate debt. The main result of this paper is that even the simplest of the structural models [Merton, R., 1974. On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates. Journal of Finance 29, 449-470] produces hedge ratios that are not rejected in time-series tests. However, we find that the Merton model (with or without stochastic interest rates) does not capture the interest rate sensitivity of corporate debt, which is substantially lower than would be expected from conventional duration measures. The paper also shows that corporate bond prices are related to a number of market-wide factors such as the Fama-French SMB (small minus big) factor in a way that is not predicted by structural models.
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.
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.
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.:
- Leland, Hayne E & Toft, Klaus Bjerre, 1996.
" Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 987-1019, July.
- 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.
- Vasicek, Oldrich Alfonso, 1977. "Abstract: An Equilibrium Characterization of the Term Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 627-627, November.
- Hayne E. Leland., 1998.
"Agency Costs, Risk Management, and Capital Structure,"
Research Program in Finance Working Papers
RPF-278, University of California at Berkeley.
- Hayne E. Leland, 1998. "Agency Costs, Risk Management, and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1213-1243, 08.
- Pierre Collin-Dufresne, 2001. "Do Credit Spreads Reflect Stationary Leverage Ratios?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1929-1957, October.
- Young Ho Eom, 2004. "Structural Models of Corporate Bond Pricing: An Empirical Analysis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 499-544.
- Sergei A. Davydenko & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2007. "Strategic Actions and Credit Spreads: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(6), pages 2633-2671, December.
- Edwin J. Elton, 2001. "Explaining the Rate Spread on Corporate Bonds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 247-277, 02.
- Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1995. " A Simple Approach to Valuing Risky Fixed and Floating Rate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 789-819, July.
- In Joon Kim & Krishna Ramaswamy & Suresh Sundaresan, 1993. "Does Default Risk in Coupons Affect the Valuation of Corporate Bonds?: A Contingent Claims Model," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 22(3), Fall.
- Pierre Mella-Barral & William R M Perraudin, 1993.
"Strategic Debt Service,"
CEPR Financial Markets Paper
0039, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
- Pierre Collin-Dufresne, 2001. "The Determinants of Credit Spread Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2177-2207, December.
- Jin-Chuan Duan, 1994. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation Using Price Data Of The Derivative Contract," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 155-167.
- Merton, Robert C., 1973.
"On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates,"
684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- 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.
- Maria Vassalou & Yuhang Xing, 2004. "Default Risk in Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 831-868, 04.
- Gregory R. Duffee, 1998. "The Relation Between Treasury Yields and Corporate Bond Yield Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2225-2241, December.
- Anderson, Ronald W & Sundaresan, Suresh, 1996. "Design and Valuation of Debt Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 37-68.
- Darrell Duffie & Rui Kan, 1996. "A Yield-Factor Model Of Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 379-406.
- Goldstein, Robert & Ju, Nengjiu & Leland, Hayne, 2001. "An EBIT-Based Model of Dynamic Capital Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(4), pages 483-512, October.
- Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:90:y:2008:i:1:p:1-19. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.