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Cyclical Dispersion in Expected Defaults

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  • João F. Gomes
  • Marco Grotteria
  • Jessica A. Wachter

Abstract

A growing literature shows that credit indicators forecast aggregate real outcomes. While researchers have proposed various explanations, the economic mechanism behind these results remains an open question. In this paper, we show that a simple, frictionless, model explains empirical findings commonly attributed to credit cycles. Our key assumption is that firms have heterogeneous exposures to underlying economy-wide shocks. This leads to endogenous dispersion in credit quality that varies over time and predicts future excess returns and real outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • João F. Gomes & Marco Grotteria & Jessica A. Wachter, 2017. "Cyclical Dispersion in Expected Defaults," NBER Working Papers 23704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23704
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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