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Inflation Uncertainty, Asset Valuations, and the Credit Spreads Puzzle

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  • Alexander David

Abstract

Investors' learning of the state of future real fundamentals from current inflation leads to macroeconomic state dependence of asset valuations and solvency ratios of firms within given rating categories. Since credit spreads are convex functions of solvency ratios, average spreads are higher than spreads at average solvency ratios. Macroeconomic shocks carry risk premiums so that expected default losses are more sensitive to changes in the price of risk than are credit spreads. By incorporating state dependence and increasing the price of risk, the econometrician obtains high credit spreads while maintaining average default losses at historical levels—the credit spreads puzzle. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander David, 2008. "Inflation Uncertainty, Asset Valuations, and the Credit Spreads Puzzle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(6), pages 2487-2534, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:6:p:2487-2534
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    Cited by:

    1. Alain Monfort & Jean-Paul Renne, 2013. "Default, Liquidity, and Crises: an Econometric Framework," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 11(2), pages 221-262, March.
    2. Chang-Chih Chen & Chia-Chien Chang, 2019. "How Big are the Ambiguity-Based Premiums on Mortgage Insurances?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 133-157, January.
    3. Boris Blagov & Michael Funke & Richhild Moessner, 2015. "Modelling the time-variation in euro area lending spreads," BIS Working Papers 526, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Beber, Alessandro & Breedon, Francis & Buraschi, Andrea, 2010. "Differences in beliefs and currency risk premiums," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 415-438, December.
    5. Bhanu Pratap Singh Thakur & M. Kannadhasan & Vinay Goyal, 2018. "Determinants of corporate credit spread: evidence from India," DECISION: Official Journal of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Springer;Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, vol. 45(1), pages 59-73, March.
    6. Tang, Dragon Yongjun & Yan, Hong, 2010. "Market conditions, default risk and credit spreads," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 743-753, April.
    7. Poshakwale, Sunil S. & Mandal, Anandadeep, 2016. "What drives asymmetric dependence structure of asset return comovements?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 312-330.
    8. Pu, Xiaoling & Zhao, Xinlei, 2012. "Correlation in credit risk changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1093-1106.
    9. Wang, Hao & Zhou, Hao & Zhou, Yi, 2013. "Credit default swap spreads and variance risk premia," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3733-3746.
    10. Maalaoui Chun, Olfa & Dionne, Georges & François, Pascal, 2014. "Credit spread changes within switching regimes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 41-55.
    11. Sharma, Susan Sunila & Thuraisamy, Kannan, 2013. "Oil price uncertainty and sovereign risk: Evidence from Asian economies," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 51-57.
    12. Chan, Kam Fong & Marsden, Alastair, 2014. "Macro risk factors of credit default swap indices in a regime-switching framework," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 285-308.
    13. Dionne, Georges & Gauthier, Geneviève & Hammami, Khemais & Maurice, Mathieu & Simonato, Jean-Guy, 2011. "A reduced form model of default spreads with Markov-switching macroeconomic factors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1984-2000, August.
    14. Hui Chen & Rui Cui & Zhiguo He & Konstantin Milbradt, 2018. "Quantifying Liquidity and Default Risks of Corporate Bonds over the Business Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(3), pages 852-897.
    15. Guesmi, Khaled & Dhaoui, Abderrazak & Goutte, Stéphane & Abid, Ilyes, 2018. "On the determinants of industry-CDS index spreads: Evidence from a nonlinear setting," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 233-254.
    16. Su-Lien Lu & Kuo-Jung Lee, 2021. "Investigating the Determinants of Credit Spread Using a Markov Regime-Switching Model: Evidence from Banks in Taiwan," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(17), pages 1-25, August.
    17. Shi, Zhan, 2019. "Time-varying ambiguity, credit spreads, and the levered equity premium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(3), pages 617-646.
    18. Alexander David & Pietro Veronesi, 2009. "What Ties Return Volatilities to Price Valuations and Fundamentals?," NBER Working Papers 15563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Harjoat S. Bhamra & Christian Dorion & Alexandre Jeanneret & Michael Weber, 2018. "Low Inflation: High Default Risk AND High Equity Valuations," NBER Working Papers 25317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Batten, Jonathan A. & Jacoby, Gady & Liao, Rose C., 2014. "Corporate yield spreads and real interest rates," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 89-100.
    21. Ban, Mingyuan & Chen, Chang-Chih, 2019. "Ambiguity and capital structure adjustments," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 242-270.
    22. Georgoutsos, Dimitris & Kounitis, Thomas, 2016. "Treasury yields and credit spread dynamics: A regime-switching approach," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 14(PA), pages 39-51.
    23. Peter Christoffersen & Du Du & Redouane Elkamhi, 2017. "Rare Disasters, Credit, and Option Market Puzzles," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(5), pages 1341-1364, May.
    24. Li, Xiao-Lin & Li, Xin & Si, Deng-Kui, 2020. "Asymmetric determinants of corporate bond credit spreads in China: Evidence from a nonlinear ARDL model," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C).

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