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Default Estimation, Correlated Defaults, and Expert Information

  • Kiefer, Nicholas M.

    (Cornell U and US Department of the Treasury)

Capital allocation decisions are made on the basis of an assessment of creditworthiness. Default is a rare event for most segments of a bank's portfolio and data information can be minimal. Inference about default rates is essential for efficient capital allocation, for risk management and for compliance with the requirements of the Basel II rules on capital standards for banks. Expert information is crucial in inference about defaults. A Bayesian approach is proposed and illustrated using prior distributions assessed from industry experts. A maximum entropy approach is used to represent expert information. The binomial model, most common in applications, is extended to allow correlated defaults yet remain consistent with Basel II. The application shows that probabilistic information can be elicited from experts and econometric methods can be useful even when data information is sparse.

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Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-02.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:08-02
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  1. Nickell, Pamela & Perraudin, William & Varotto, Simone, 2000. "Stability of rating transitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 203-227, January.
  2. Michael B. Gordy, 2002. "A risk-factor model foundation for ratings-based bank capital rules," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-55, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Umesh Gavasakar, 1988. "A Comparison of Two Elicitation Methods for a Prior Distribution for a Binomial Parameter," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(6), pages 784-790, June.
  4. Sanjiv Das & Darrell Duffie & Nikunj Kapadia & Leandro Saita, 2006. "Common Failings: How Corporate Defaults are Correlated," NBER Working Papers 11961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Garthwaite, Paul H. & Kadane, Joseph B. & O'Hagan, Anthony, 2005. "Statistical Methods for Eliciting Probability Distributions," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 680-701, June.
  6. Yaw Nyarko & Andrew Schotter, 2002. "An Experimental Study of Belief Learning Using Elicited Beliefs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 971-1005, May.
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