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Is Systematic Default Risk Priced in Equity Returns? A Cross-Sectional Analysis Using Credit Derivatives Prices

  • Jorge A. Chan-Lau

This paper finds that systematic default risk, or the event of widespread defaults in the corporate sector, is an important determinant of equity returns. Moreover, the market price of systematic default risk is one order of magnitude higher than the market price of other risk factors. In contrast to studies by Fama and French (1993, 1996 ) and Vassalou and Xing (2004), this paper uses a market-based measure of systematic default risk. The measure is constructed using price information from credit derivatives prices, namely the spreads of standardized single-tranche collateralized debt obligations on credit derivatives indices.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/148.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/148
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  1. Roberto Blanco & Simon Brennan & Ian W. Marsh, 2004. "An empirical analysis of the dynamic relationship between investment grade bonds and credit default swaps," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0401, Banco de Espa�a.
  2. Yinqiu Lu & Jorge A. Chan-Lau, 2006. "Idiosyncratic and Systemic Risk in the European Corporate Sector; A CDO Perspective," IMF Working Papers 06/107, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  4. Francis A. Longstaff & Arvind Rajan, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of the Pricing of Collateralized Debt Obligations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(2), pages 529-563, 04.
  5. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, 09.
  6. Roberto Blanco & Simon Brennan & Ian W. Marsh, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of the Dynamic Relation between Investment-Grade Bonds and Credit Default Swaps," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2255-2281, October.
  7. Michael S. Gibson, 2004. "Understanding the risk of synthetic CDOs," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Maria Vassalou & Yuhang Xing, 2004. "Default Risk in Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 831-868, 04.
  9. Hull, John & Predescu, Mirela & White, Alan, 2004. "The relationship between credit default swap spreads, bond yields, and credit rating announcements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2789-2811, November.
  10. Martin Lettau, 2001. "Consumption, Aggregate Wealth, and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(3), pages 815-849, 06.
  11. Francis A. Longstaff & Sanjay Mithal & Eric Neis, 2004. "Corporate Yield Spreads: Default Risk or Liquidity? New Evidence from the Credit-Default Swap Market," NBER Working Papers 10418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert J. Barro, 2005. "Rare Events and the Equity Premium," NBER Working Papers 11310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1988. "The equity risk premium: A solution?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 133-136, July.
  14. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
  15. Jorge A. Chan-Lau & Yoon Sook Kim, 2004. "Equity Prices, Credit Default Swaps, and Bond Spreads in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 04/27, International Monetary Fund.
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