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Investigating the Role of Systematic and Firm-Specific Factors in Default Risk: Lessons from Empirically Evaluating Credit Risk Models

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Listed:
  • Gurdip Bakshi

    (University of Maryland)

  • Dilip Madan

    (University of Maryland)

  • Frank Xiaoling Zhang

    (Morgan Stanley)

Abstract

This paper proposes and empirically investigates a family of credit risk models driven by a two-factor structure for the short interest rate and an additional factor for firm-specific distress. The firm-specific distress factors include leverage, book-to-market, profitability, equity-volatility, and distance-to-default. Our estimation approach and performance yardsticks show that interest rate risk is of first-order importance for explaining variations in single-name defaultable bond yields. When applied to low-grade bonds, a credit risk model that takes leverage into consideration reduces absolute yield mispricing by as much as 30%. A strategy relying on Treasury instruments is effective in dynamically hedging credit exposures.

Suggested Citation

  • Gurdip Bakshi & Dilip Madan & Frank Xiaoling Zhang, 2006. "Investigating the Role of Systematic and Firm-Specific Factors in Default Risk: Lessons from Empirically Evaluating Credit Risk Models," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1955-1988, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jnlbus:v:79:y:2006:i:4:p:1955-1988
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Christoffersen & Du Du & Redouane Elkamhi, 2013. "Rare Disasters and Credit Market Puzzles," CREATES Research Papers 2013-45, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Kris Jacobs & Xiaofei Li, 2008. "Modeling the Dynamics of Credit Spreads with Stochastic Volatility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(6), pages 1176-1188, June.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:eee:finlet:v:23:y:2017:i:c:p:306-313 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Liuren Wu & Frank Xiaoling Zhang, 2008. "A No-Arbitrage Analysis of Macroeconomic Determinants of the Credit Spread Term Structure," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(6), pages 1160-1175, June.
    6. Marielle de Jong & Lauren Stagnol, 2016. "A fundamental bond index including solvency criteria," Journal of Asset Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 17(4), pages 280-294, July.
    7. Lijun Bo & Agostino Capponi, 2018. "Portfolio Choice with Market-Credit Risk Dependencies," Papers 1806.07175, arXiv.org.
    8. 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.
    9. repec:wyi:journl:002109 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Anginer, Deniz & Yildizhan, Celim, 2009. "Is there a Distress Risk Anomaly? Pricing of Systematic Default Risk in the Cross Section of Equity Returns," MPRA Paper 53885, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Apr 2013.
    11. repec:eee:finmar:v:39:y:2018:i:c:p:84-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Guarin, Alexander & Liu, Xiaoquan & Ng, Wing Lon, 2011. "Enhancing credit default swap valuation with meshfree methods," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 214(3), pages 805-813, November.
    13. Lauren Stagnol, 2015. "Designing a corporate bond index on solvency criteria," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-39, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    14. Yalin Gündüz & Marliese Uhrig-Homburg, 2014. "Does modeling framework matter? A comparative study of structural and reduced-form models," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 39-78, April.
    15. Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein & Fan Yang, 2010. "On the Relative Pricing of long Maturity S&P 500 Index Options and CDX Tranches," NBER Working Papers 15734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Carr, Peter & Wu, Liuren, 2007. "Theory and evidence on the dynamic interactions between sovereign credit default swaps and currency options," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2383-2403, August.
    17. Boudreault, Mathieu & Gauthier, Geneviève & Thomassin, Tommy, 2014. "Contagion effect on bond portfolio risk measures in a hybrid credit risk model," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 131-139.
    18. Sun, Wenbin & Cui, Kexiu, 2014. "Linking corporate social responsibility to firm default risk," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 275-287.
    19. Kraft, Holger & Munk, Claus, 2007. "Bond durations: Corporates vs. Treasuries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3720-3741, December.
    20. Riedel, Christoph & Thuraisamy, Kannan S. & Wagner, Niklas, 2013. "Credit cycle dependent spread determinants in emerging sovereign debt markets," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 209-223.

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