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An Empirical Evaluation of Structural Credit-Risk Models

Author

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  • Nikola A. Tarashev

    (Monetary and Economic Department, Bank for International Settlements)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the capacity of five structural credit risk models to forecast default rates. In contrast to previous studies with similar objectives, the paper employs firm-level data and finds that model-based forecasts of default rates tend to be unbiased and to deliver point-in-time errors that are small in both statistical and economic terms. In addition, in- and out-of-sample regression analysis reveals that the models account for a significant portion of the variability of credit risk over time but fail to fully reflect its dependence on macroeconomic cycles.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikola A. Tarashev, 2008. "An Empirical Evaluation of Structural Credit-Risk Models," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(1), pages 1-53, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2008:q:1:a:1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Duffie, Darrell & Saita, Leandro & Wang, Ke, 2007. "Multi-period corporate default prediction with stochastic covariates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 635-665, March.
    2. Leland, Hayne E, 1994. " Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1213-1252, September.
    3. Amato, Jeffery D. & Furfine, Craig H., 2004. "Are credit ratings procyclical?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2641-2677, November.
    4. 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 449-470, May.
    5. Anderson, Ronald W. & Sundaresan, Suresh & Tychon, Pierre, 1996. "Strategic analysis of contingent claims," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 871-881, April.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Smets, Frank & Tsatsaronis, Kostas, 1997. "Why Does the Yield Curve Predict Economic Activity? Dissecting the Evidence for Germany and the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 1758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Sanjiv R. Das & Darrell Duffie & Nikunj Kapadia & Leandro Saita, 2007. "Common Failings: How Corporate Defaults Are Correlated," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 93-117, February.
    11. Estrella, Arturo & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1991. " The Term Structure as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 555-576, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wikil Kwak & Yong Shi & Gang Kou, 2012. "Bankruptcy prediction for Korean firms after the 1997 financial crisis: using a multiple criteria linear programming data mining approach," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 441-453, May.
    2. Stefan W. Schmitz & Michael Sigmund & Laura Valderrama, 2017. "Bank Solvency and Funding Cost; New Data and New Results," IMF Working Papers 17/116, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Borio, Claudio & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Capital regulation, risk-taking and monetary policy: A missing link in the transmission mechanism?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 236-251.
    4. Gianni De Nicolo & Alexander F. Tieman, 2006. "Economic Integration and Financial Stability; A European Perspective," IMF Working Papers 06/296, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Borio, Claudio, 2006. "Monetary and financial stability: Here to stay?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 3407-3414, December.
    6. Antonio Di Cesare & Giovanni Guazzarotti, 2010. "An analysis of the determinants of credit default swap spread changes before and during the subprime financial turmoil," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 749, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. Wilson Sy, 2007. "A Causal Framework for Credit Default Theory," Research Paper Series 204, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
    8. Claudio Borio & Mathias Drehmann, 2009. "Assessing the risk of banking crises - revisited," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

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