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Explaining Credit Default Swap Spreads with the Equity Volatility and Jump Risks of Individual Firms

Listed author(s):
  • Benjamin Yibin Zhang
  • Hao Zhou
  • Haibin Zhu
Registered author(s):

This paper attempts to explain the credit default swap (CDS) premium, using a novel approach to identify the volatility and jump risks of individual firms from high-frequency equity prices. Our empirical results suggest that the volatility risk alone predicts 48% of the variation in CDS spread levels, whereas the jump risk alone forecasts 19%. After controlling for credit ratings, macroeconomic conditions, and firms' balance sheet information, we can explain 73% of the total variation. We calibrate a Merton-type structural model with stochastic volatility and jumps, which can help to match credit spreads after controlling for the historical default rates. Simulation evidence suggests that the high-frequency-based volatility measures can help to explain the credit spreads, above and beyond what is already captured by the true leverage ratio. The Author 2009. 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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhp004
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Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 5099-5131

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:12:p:5099-5131
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  1. Andersen T. G & Bollerslev T. & Diebold F. X & Labys P., 2001. "The Distribution of Realized Exchange Rate Volatility," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 42-55, March.
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  4. Peter Carr & Liuren Wu, 2010. "Stock Options and Credit Default Swaps: A Joint Framework for Valuation and Estimation," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 8(4), pages 409-449, Fall.
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  7. Francis A. Longstaff & Sanjay Mithal & Eric Neis, 2005. "Corporate Yield Spreads: Default Risk or Liquidity? New Evidence from the Credit Default Swap Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2213-2253, October.
  8. Houweling, Patrick & Vorst, Ton, 2005. "Pricing default swaps: Empirical evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 1200-1225, December.
  9. Franck Packer & Haibin Zhu, 2005. "Contractual terms and CDS pricing," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  10. Cremers, Martijn & Driessen, Joost & Maenhout, Pascal & Weinbaum, David, 2008. "Individual stock-option prices and credit spreads," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2706-2715, December.
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  12. Ericsson, Jan & Jacobs, Kris & Oviedo, Rodolfo, 2009. "The Determinants of Credit Default Swap Premia," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(01), pages 109-132, February.
  13. Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen & Neil Shephard, 2006. "Econometrics of Testing for Jumps in Financial Economics Using Bipower Variation," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30.
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