IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Regimes in CDS Spreads: A Markov Switching Model of iTraxx Europe Indices

  • Carol Alexander


    (Chair in Risk Management)

  • Andreas Kaeck


    (Graduate Program Finance and Information Management, University of Augsburg and Technical University of Munich)

This paper investigates the determinants of the iTraxx CDS Europe indices, finding strong evidence that they are regime dependent. During volatile periods credit spreads become highly sensitive to stock volatility and more sensitive to this than to stock returns. They are also almost immune to interest rates changes. During tranquil periods credit spreads are more sensitive to stock returns than to volatility and most indices are sensitive to interest rate moves. However for companies in the financial sector interest rates have no significant influence in either regime. We also found some evidence that raising interest rates can decrease the probability of credit spreads entering a volatile period. Our findings are useful for policy makers and, since equity hedge ratios based on single-state models cannot capture the regime dependent behaviour of credit spreads, our results may also help traders to improve the efficiency of hedging credit default swaps. Finally, the volatility clustering and autocorrelation that we have identified in the price dynamics of iTraxx indices should prove useful for pricing the iTraxx options that are now being actively traded over-the-counter.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance with number icma-dp2006-08.

in new window

Length: 27 Pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Banking and Finance
Handle: RePEc:rdg:icmadp:icma-dp2006-08
Contact details of provider: Postal: PO Box 218, Whiteknights, Reading, Berks, RG6 6AA
Phone: +44 (0) 118 378 8226
Fax: +44 (0) 118 975 0236
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Allan Timmermann & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 1999. "Firm Size and Cyclical Variations in Stock Returns," FMG Discussion Papers dp335, Financial Markets Group.
  2. Houweling, Patrick & Vorst, Ton, 2005. "Pricing default swaps: Empirical evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 1200-1225, December.
  3. Francis A. Longstaff & Sanjay Mithal & Eric Neis, 2005. "Corporate Yield Spreads: Default Risk or Liquidity? New Evidence from the Credit Default Swap Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2213-2253, October.
  4. Byström, Hans N. E., 2005. "Credit Default Swaps and Equity Prices: The Itraxx CDS Index Market," Working Papers 2005:24, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 15 May 2005.
  5. Jarrow, Robert A & Lando, David & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1997. "A Markov Model for the Term Structure of Credit Risk Spreads," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 481-523.
  6. Richard H. Clarida & Lucio Sarno & Mark P. Taylor & Giorgio Valente, 2006. "The Role of Asymmetries and Regime Shifts in the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1193-1224, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Cosslett, Stephen R. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1985. "Serial correlation in latent discrete variable models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 79-97, January.
  9. Engel, Charles & Hamilton, James D, 1990. "Long Swings in the Dollar: Are They in the Data and Do Markets Know It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 689-713, September.
  10. Carol Alexander & Anca Dimitriu, 2005. "Indexing, cointegration and equity market regimes," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(3), pages 213-231.
  11. Rydén, Tobias & Teräsvirta, Timo & Åsbrink, Stefan, 1996. "Stylized Facts of Daily Return Series and the Hidden Markov Model," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 117, Stockholm School of Economics.
  12. Yacine Ait-Sahalia, 1995. "Nonparametric Pricing of Interest Rate Derivative Securities," NBER Working Papers 5345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Turner, Christopher M. & Startz, Richard & Nelson, Charles R., 1989. "A Markov model of heteroskedasticity, risk, and learning in the stock market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 3-22, November.
  14. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Quandt, Richard E., 1973. "A Markov model for switching regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-15, March.
  15. Estrella, Arturo & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1991. " The Term Structure as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 555-76, June.
  16. Yin-Wong Cheung & Ulf G. Erlandsson, 2004. "Exchange Rates and Markov Switching Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 1348, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Marine Carrasco & Liang Hu, 2004. "Optimal test for Markov switching," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 396, Econometric Society.
  18. Pierre Collin-Dufresne, 2001. "The Determinants of Credit Spread Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2177-2207, December.
  19. Francis, Neville & Owyang, Michael T., 2005. "Monetary Policy in a Markov-Switching Vector Error-Correction Model: Implications for the Cost of Disinflation and the Price Puzzle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 305-313, July.
  20. Kim, Chang-Jin, 1994. "Dynamic linear models with Markov-switching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 1-22.
  21. Robert Breunig & Serinah Najarian & Adrian Pagan, 2003. "Specification Testing of Markov Switching Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(s1), pages 703-725, December.
  22. Turner, C.M. & Startz, R. & Nelson, C.R., 1989. "The Markov Model Of Heteroskedasticity, Risk And Learning In The Stock Market," Working Papers 89-01, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  23. Ravi Bansal & George Tauchen & Hao Zhou, 2004. "Regime Shifts, Risk Premiums in the Term Structure, and the Business Cycle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 396-409, October.
  24. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Jarrow, Robert A & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1995. " Pricing Derivatives on Financial Securities Subject to Credit Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 53-85, March.
  28. Black, Fischer & Cox, John C, 1976. "Valuing Corporate Securities: Some Effects of Bond Indenture Provisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 351-67, May.
  29. Edwin J. Elton, 2001. "Explaining the Rate Spread on Corporate Bonds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 247-277, 02.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Taylor, Mark P, 2003. "Is Official Exchange Rate Intervention Effective?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  33. Zhou, Chunsheng, 2001. "The term structure of credit spreads with jump risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(11), pages 2015-2040, November.
  34. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1995. " A Simple Approach to Valuing Risky Fixed and Floating Rate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 789-819, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rdg:icmadp:icma-dp2006-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ed Quick)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.