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Default Risk in Corporate Yield Spreads

Author

Listed:
  • Georges Dionne
  • Geneviève Gauthier
  • Khemais Hammami
  • Mathieu Maurice
  • Jean-Guy Simonato

Abstract

An important research question examined in the recent credit risk literature focuses on the proportion of corporate yield spreads which can be attributed to default risk. Past studies have verified that only a small fraction of the spreads can be explained by default risk. In this paper, we reexamine this topic in the light of the different issues associated with the computation of transition and default probabilities obained with historical rating transition data. One significant finding of our research is that the estimated default-risk proportion of corporate yield spreads in highly sensitive to the term structure of the default probabilities estimated for each rating class. Moreover, this proportion can become a large fraction of the yield spread when sensitivity analyses are made with respect to recovery rates, default cycles in the economy, and information considered in the historical rating transition data.

Suggested Citation

  • Georges Dionne & Geneviève Gauthier & Khemais Hammami & Mathieu Maurice & Jean-Guy Simonato, 2005. "Default Risk in Corporate Yield Spreads," Cahiers de recherche 0532, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0532
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward Altman & Andrea Resti & Andrea Sironi, 2004. "Default Recovery Rates in Credit Risk Modelling: A Review of the Literature and Empirical Evidence," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 33(2), pages 183-208, July.
    2. Darrell Duffie & Robert Jarrow & Amiyatosh Purnanandam & Wei Yang, 2008. "Market Pricing of Deposit Insurance," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 22, pages 551-577 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Duffie, Darrell & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1999. "Modeling Term Structures of Defaultable Bonds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 687-720.
    4. Altman, Edward I., 1998. "The importance and subtlety of credit rating migration," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1231-1247, October.
    5. Bangia, Anil & Diebold, Francis X. & Kronimus, Andre & Schagen, Christian & Schuermann, Til, 2002. "Ratings migration and the business cycle, with application to credit portfolio stress testing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 445-474, March.
    6. Gordy, Michael B., 2000. "A comparative anatomy of credit risk models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 119-149, January.
    7. Long Chen & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2009. "On the Relation Between the Credit Spread Puzzle and the Equity Premium Puzzle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(9), pages 3367-3409, September.
    8. Edwin J. Elton, 2001. "Explaining the Rate Spread on Corporate Bonds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 247-277, February.
    9. Nelson, Charles R & Siegel, Andrew F, 1987. "Parsimonious Modeling of Yield Curves," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 473-489, October.
    10. Crouhy, Michel & Galai, Dan & Mark, Robert, 2000. "A comparative analysis of current credit risk models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 59-117, January.
    11. Mark J Manning, 2004. "Exploring the relationship between credit spreads and default probabilities," Bank of England working papers 225, Bank of England.
    12. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
    13. Christensen, Jens H.E. & Hansen, Ernst & Lando, David, 2004. "Confidence sets for continuous-time rating transition probabilities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2575-2602, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anténor-Habazac, Cassandre & Dionne, Georges & Guesmi, Sahar, 2018. "Cyclical variations in liquidity risk of corporate bonds," Working Papers 18-3, HEC Montreal, Canada Research Chair in Risk Management.
    2. Georges Dionne & Sadok Laajimi & Sofiane Mejri & Madalina Petrescu, 2006. "Estimation of the Default Risk of Publicly Traded Canadian Companies," Cahiers de recherche 0613, CIRPEE.
    3. Robert Goldberg, 2015. "A methodology for computing and comparing implied equity and corporate-debt Sharpe Ratios," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 733-754, May.
    4. Dionne, Georges & Gauthier, Geneviève & Hammami, Khemais & Maurice, Mathieu & Simonato, Jean-Guy, 2011. "A reduced form model of default spreads with Markov-switching macroeconomic factors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1984-2000, August.
    5. repec:eee:empfin:v:45:y:2018:i:c:p:243-268 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Okou, Cedric & Maalaoui Chun, Olfa & Dionne, Georges & Li, Jingyuan, 2016. "Can Higher-Order Risks Explain the Credit Spread Puzzle?," Working Papers 16-1, HEC Montreal, Canada Research Chair in Risk Management.
    7. Anthony H. Tu & Cathy Yi-Hsuan Chen, 2016. "What Derives the Bond Portfolio Value-at-Risk: Information Roles of Macroeconomic and Financial Stress Factors," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2016-006, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    8. repec:wsi:ijtafx:v:09:y:2006:i:01:n:s0219024906003445 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Rosella Castellano & Luisa Scaccia, 2014. "Can CDS indexes signal future turmoils in the stock market? A Markov switching perspective," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 22(2), pages 285-305, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit risk; default risk; corporate yield spread; transition matrix; default probability; Moody's; Standard and Poor's; recovery rate; data filtration; default cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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