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Macro factors in the term structure of credit spreads


  • Maurizio Luisi

    (ABN AMRO - ABN-Amro Bank, United Kingdom)

  • Jeffery D. Amato

    (Goldman Sachs International)


We estimate arbitrage-free term structure models of US Treasury yields and spreads on BBB and Brated corporate bonds in a doubly-stochastic intensity-based framework. A novel feature of our analysis is the inclusion of macroeconomic variables – indicators of real activity, inflation and financial conditions – as well as latent factors, as drivers of term structure dynamics. Our results point to three key roles played by macro factors in the term structure of spreads: they have a significant impact on the level, and particularly the slope, of the curves; they are largely responsible for variation in the prices of systematic risk; and speculative grade spreads exhibit greater sensitivity to macro shocks than high grade spreads.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Luisi & Jeffery D. Amato, 2006. "Macro factors in the term structure of credit spreads," BIS Working Papers 203, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:203

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dewachter, Hans & Lyrio, Marco, 2006. "Macro Factors and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 119-140, February.
    2. Duan, Jin-Chuan & Simonato, Jean-Guy, 1999. "Estimating and Testing Exponential-Affine Term Structure Models by Kalman Filter," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 111-135, September.
    3. Harvey,Andrew C., 1991. "Forecasting, Structural Time Series Models and the Kalman Filter," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521405737, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Gouriéroux, C. & Monfort, A. & Renne, J.P., 2014. "Pricing default events: Surprise, exogeneity and contagion," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 182(2), pages 397-411.
    3. C. N. V. Krishnan & Peter H. Ritchken & James B. Thomson, 2007. "On forecasting the term structure of credit spreads," Working Paper 0705, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    4. Huang, Xin & Zhou, Hao & Zhu, Haibin, 2009. "A framework for assessing the systemic risk of major financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2036-2049, November.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/15008 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Borio, Claudio & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Capital regulation, risk-taking and monetary policy: A missing link in the transmission mechanism?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 236-251.
    7. Dewachter, Hans & Iania, Leonardo & Lyrio, Marco & de Sola Perea, Maite, 2015. "A macro-financial analysis of the euro area sovereign bond market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 308-325.
    8. Annaert, Jan & De Ceuster, Marc & Van Roy, Patrick & Vespro, Cristina, 2013. "What determines Euro area bank CDS spreads?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 444-461.
    9. François Guillemin & Hervé Alexandre & Catherine Refait-Alexandre, 2015. "Downgrades of sovereign credit ratings and impact on banks CDS spread: does disclosure by banks improve stability?," Post-Print hal-01622782, HAL.
    10. Krishnan, C.N.V. & Ritchken, Peter H. & Thomson, James B., 2010. "Predicting credit spreads," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 529-563, October.
    11. Mathias Drehmann & Steffen Sorensen & Marco Stringa, 2008. "The integrated impact of credit and interest rate risk on banks: an economic value and capital adequacy perspective," Bank of England working papers 339, Bank of England.
    12. Zinna, Gabriele, 2013. "Sovereign default risk premia: Evidence from the default swap market," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 15-35.
    13. Ramaprasad Bhar & Nedim Handzic, 2011. "A Multifactor Model of Credit Spreads," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 18(1), pages 105-127, March.
    14. Borgy, V. & Laubach, T. & Mésonnier, J-S. & Renne, J-P., 2011. "Fiscal Sustainability, Default Risk and Euro Area Sovereign Bond Spreads Markets," Working papers 350, Banque de France.
    15. Marco S. Matsumura, 2007. "Impact Of Macro Shocks On Sovereign Default Probabilities," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 060, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    16. Nguyen, Pascal, 2007. "Macroeconomic factors and Japan's industry risk," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 173-185, April.

    More about this item


    corporate bonds; default intensity; event risk; risk premia; interest rate rule;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading


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