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The corporate bond credit spread puzzle

It is common to view interest on a corporate bond as reflecting the risk-free, longer-term interest rate, such as that on a 10-year Treasury bond, plus a spread related to the credit risk of the corporation issuing the bond. However, empirical analysis of the determinants of corporate bond rates has turned out to be more demanding than it appears on the surface. This has led researchers to talk about a credit spread puzzle. In this Economic Letter we will first detail the evidence for the existence of such a credit spread puzzle. In a second step we will take a closer look at some of the pieces that go into explaining the puzzle.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal FRBSF Economic Letter.

Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): mar14 ()

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:y:2008:i:mar14:n:2008-10
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  1. Houweling, Patrick & Mentink, Albert & Vorst, Ton, 2005. "Comparing possible proxies of corporate bond liquidity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1331-1358, June.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Edwin J. Elton, 2001. "Explaining the Rate Spread on Corporate Bonds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 247-277, 02.
  5. Pierre Collin-Dufresne, 2001. "The Determinants of Credit Spread Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2177-2207, December.
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