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Specification analysis of structural credit risk models
In this paper we conduct a specification analysis of structural credit risk models, using term structure of credit default swap (CDS) spreads and equity volatility from high-frequency return data. Our study provides consistent econometric estimation of the pricing model parameters and specification tests based on the joint behavior of time-series asset dynamics and cross-sectional pricing errors. Our empirical tests reject strongly the standard Merton (1974) model, the Black and Cox (1976) barrier model, and the Longstaff and Schwartz (1995) model with stochastic interest rates. The double exponential jump-diffusion barrier model (Huang and Huang, 2003) improves significantly over the three models. The best model is the stationary leverage model of Collin-Dufresne and Goldstein (2001), which we cannot reject in more than half of our sample firms. However, our empirical results document the inability of the existing structural models to capture the dynamic behavior of CDS spreads and equity volatility, especially for investment grade names. This points to a potential role of time-varying asset volatility, a feature that is missing in the standard structural models.
AUTHORS: Huang, Jing-zhi; Zhou, Hao
Inflation risk premium: evidence from the TIPS market
``Inflation-indexed securities would appear to be the most direct source of information about inflation expectations and real interest rates" (Bernanke, 2004). In this paper we study the term structure of real interest rates, expected inflation and inflation risk premia using data on prices of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) over the period 2000-2008. The approach we use to estimate inflation risk premium is arbitrage free, largely model free, and easy to implement. We also make distinction between TIPS yields and real yields and take into account explicitly the three-month indexation lag of TIPS in the analysis. In addition, we propose a new liquidity measure based on TIPS prices. Accounting for it, we find that the inflation risk premium is time-varying: it is negative (positive) in the first (second) half of the sample period. The average 10-year inflation risk premium ranges from -16 to 10 basis points over the full sample depending on the proxy used for expected inflation. More specifically, the estimates of the 10-year inflation risk premium range between 14 and 19 basis points for 2004-2008 period.
AUTHORS: Grishchenko, Olesya V.; Huang, Jing-zhi