Forecasting Default with the Merton Distance to Default Model
We examine the accuracy and contribution of the Merton distance to default (DD) model, which is based on Merton's (1974) bond pricing model. We compare the model to a "naïve" alternative, which uses the functional form suggested by the Merton model but does not solve the model for an implied probability of default. We find that the naïve predictor performs slightly better in hazard models and in out-of-sample forecasts than both the Merton DD model and a reduced-form model that uses the same inputs. Several other forecasting variables are also important predictors, and fitted values from an expanded hazard model outperform Merton DD default probabilities out of sample. Implied default probabilities from credit default swaps and corporate bond yield spreads are only weakly correlated with Merton DD probabilities after adjusting for agency ratings and bond characteristics. We conclude that while the Merton DD model does not produce a sufficient statistic for the probability of default, its functional form is useful for forecasting defaults. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Oxford University Press.
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.
Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Journals Department, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513 USA.|
Web page: http://www.rfs.oupjournals.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www4.oup.co.uk/revfin/subinfo/|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:3:p:1339-1369. 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: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.