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Is Credit Event Risk Priced? Modeling Contagion via the Updating of Beliefs

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  • Pierre Collin-Dufresne
  • Robert S. Goldstein
  • Jean Helwege

Abstract

Empirical tests of reduced form models of default attribute a large fraction of observed credit spreads to compensation for jump-to-default risk. However, these models preclude a "contagion-risk'' channel, where the aggregate corporate bond index reacts adversely to a credit event. In this paper, we propose a tractable model for pricing corporate bonds subject to contagion-risk. We show that when investors have fragile beliefs (Hansen and Sargent (2009)), contagion premia may be sizable even if P-measure contagion across defaults is small. We find empirical support for contagion in bond returns in response to large credit events. Model calibrations suggest that while contagion risk premia may be sizable, jump-to-default risk premia have an upper bound of a few basis points.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein & Jean Helwege, 2010. "Is Credit Event Risk Priced? Modeling Contagion via the Updating of Beliefs," NBER Working Papers 15733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15733
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    1. repec:wsi:ijtafx:v:15:y:2012:i:03:n:s0219024912500239 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jinjarak, Yothin & Zheng, Huanhuan, 2014. "Granular institutional investors and global market interdependence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 61-81.
    3. Dumontaux, Nicolas & Pop, Adrian, 2013. "Understanding the market reaction to shockwaves: Evidence from the failure of Lehman Brothers," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 269-286.
    4. Batten, Jonathan A. & Jacoby, Gady & Liao, Rose C., 2014. "Corporate yield spreads and real interest rates," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 89-100.
    5. Díaz, Antonio & Groba, Jonatan & Serrano, Pedro, 2013. "What drives corporate default risk premia? Evidence from the CDS market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 529-563.
    6. Ramaprasad Bhar & Nedim Handzic, 2011. "A Multifactor Model of Credit Spreads," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 18(1), pages 105-127, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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