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A Market-Based Study of the Cost of Default

Author

Listed:
  • Sergei A. Davydenko
  • Ilya A. Strebulaev
  • Xiaofei Zhao

Abstract

This article proposes a novel method of extracting the cost of default from the change in the market value of a firm's assets upon default. Using a large sample of firms with observed prices of debt and equity that defaulted over fourteen years, we estimate the cost of default for an average defaulting firm to be 21.7% of the market value of assets. The costs vary from 14.7% for bond renegotiations to 30.5% for bankruptcies, and are substantially higher for investment-grade firms (28.8%) than for highly levered bond issuers (20.2%), which extant estimates are based on exclusively. (JEL G21, G30, G33) The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Sergei A. Davydenko & Ilya A. Strebulaev & Xiaofei Zhao, 2012. "A Market-Based Study of the Cost of Default," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(10), pages 2959-2999.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:25:y:2012:i:10:p:2959-2999
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhs091
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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