Modeling default risk with support vector machines
Predicting default risk is important for firms and banks to operate successfully. There are many reasons to use nonlinear techniques for predicting bankruptcy from financial ratios. Here we propose the so-called Support Vector Machine (SVM) to predict the default risk of German firms. Our analysis is based on the Creditreform database. In all tests performed in this paper the nonlinear model classified by SVM exceeds the benchmark logit model, based on the same predictors, in terms of the performance metric, AR. The empirical evidence is in favor of the SVM for classification, especially in the linear non-separable case. The sensitivity investigation and a corresponding visualization tool reveal that the classifying ability of SVM appears to be superior over a wide range of SVM parameters. In terms of the empirical results obtained by SVM, the eight most important predictors related to bankruptcy for these German firms belong to the ratios of activity, profitability, liquidity, leverage and the percentage of incremental inventories. Some of the financial ratios selected by the SVM model are new because they have a strong nonlinear dependence on the default risk but a weak linear dependence that therefore cannot be captured by the usual linear models such as the DA and logit models.
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): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RQUF20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RQUF20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:quantf:v:11:y:2011:i:1:p:135-154. 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: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.