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Low Inflation: High Default Risk AND High Equity Valuations

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  • Harjaat S. Bhamra
  • Christian Dorion
  • Alexandre Jeanneret
  • Michael Weber
  • Michael Weber

Abstract

We develop an asset-pricing model with endogenous corporate policies that explains how inflation jointly impacts real asset prices and corporate default risk. Our model includes two empirically grounded nominal frictions: fixed nominal coupons and sticky profitability. Taken together, these two frictions result in higher real equity prices and credit spreads when inflation falls. An increase in inflation has opposite effects, but with smaller magnitudes. In the cross section, the model predicts the negative impact of inflation on real equity values is stronger for low leverage firms. We find empirical support for the model predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Harjaat S. Bhamra & Christian Dorion & Alexandre Jeanneret & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2018. "Low Inflation: High Default Risk AND High Equity Valuations," CESifo Working Paper Series 7391, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7391
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    1. Andreas Neuhierl & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2017. "Monetary Momentum," CESifo Working Paper Series 6648, CESifo.
    2. Neuhierl, Andreas & Weber, Michael, 2019. "Monetary policy communication, policy slope, and the stock market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 140-155.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    low inflation; default risk; equity; leverage; credit spreads;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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