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Corporate Bond Risk and Real Activity; An Empirical Analysis of Yield Spreads and their Systematic Components

  • Iryna V. Ivaschenko
  • Jorge A. Chan-Lau

This paper finds that the yield spread of investment-grade bonds relative to Treasuries, a proxy of default risk, predicts marginal changes in industrial production in the United States up to 12 months in the future, even upon controlling for a commonly used predictor such as the commercial paper spread. The paper also finds that systematic risk factors associated with the yield spread of investment-grade bonds to a variety of risk-free benchmarks - Treasuries, agency bonds, and AAA-rated bonds - have significant predictive content for future growth rate of industrial production at 3 to 18 months forecasting horizon, both in- and out-of-sample. Finally, a regime-switching estimation shows that the systematic risk component is also able to capture "industrial production business cycle" well.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 01/158.

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Length: 62
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/158
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  1. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," NBER Working Papers 6455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tauchen, George E. & Gallant, A. Ronald, 1995. "Which Moments to Match," Working Papers 95-20, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  3. Engle, R. & Hendry, D., 1990. "Testing Super Exogeneity And Invariance In Regression Models," Economics Series Working Papers 99100, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Michael J. Fleming, 2001. "Financial market implications of the federal debt paydown," Staff Reports 120, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Charles R. Nelson & Richard Startz, 1988. "Some Further Results on the Exact Small Sample Properties of the Instrumental Variable Estimator," NBER Technical Working Papers 0068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Albert M. Wojnilower, 1980. "The Central Role of Credit Crunches in Recent Financial History," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(2), pages 277-340.
  8. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  9. Bertocchi, Marida & Giacometti, Rosella & Zenios, Stavros A., 2005. "Risk factor analysis and portfolio immunization in the corporate bond market," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 348-363, March.
  10. Knez, Peter J & Litterman, Robert & Scheinkman, Jose Alexandre, 1994. " Explorations into Factors Explaining Money Market Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1861-82, December.
  11. Mark Gertler & Cara S. Lown, 2000. "The Information in the High Yield Bond Spread for the Business Cycle: Evidence and Some Implications," NBER Working Papers 7549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Michael J. Flemming, 2000. "Financial Market Implications of the Federal Debt Paydown," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 221-252.
  13. Garry J. Schinasi & T. Todd Smith & Charles Frederick Kramer, 2001. "Financial Implications of the Shrinking Supply of U.S. Treasury Securities," IMF Working Papers 01/61, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Friedman, Benjamin M & Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1992. "Money, Income, Prices, and Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 472-92, June.
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