Assessing Credit Risk of Companies with Mean-Reverting Leverage Ratios
Empirical findings and theoretical studies suggest that firms adjust towards time-varying target leverage ratios. This paper studies the performances of the default probabilities generated from two stationaryleverage models with time-dependent and constant target ratios respectively. The time-dependent model consistently performs better in terms of discriminatory power of differentiating firms' default risk and capability for predicting default rates over the period 1996 to 2006. The model provides appropriate measures of credit risk of firms and evidence to support the existence of a time-varying target leverage ratio.
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