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Zhou, Chunsheng, "The Term Structure of Credit Spreads with Jump Risk", Journal of Banking & Finance, Vol. 25, No. 11, (November 2001), pp. 2015-2040.

Abstract: Default risk analysis is important for valuing corporate bonds, swaps, and credit derivatives and plays a critical role in managing the credit risk of bank loan portfolios. This paper offers a theory to explain the observed empirical regularities on default probabilities, recovery rates, and credit spreads. It incorporates jump risk into the default process. With the jump risk, a firm can default instantaneously because of a sudden drop in its value. As a result, a credit model with the jump risk is able to match the size of credit spreads on corporate bonds and can generate various shapes of yield spread curves and marginal default rate curves, including upward-sloping, downward-sloping, flat, and hump-shaped, even if the firm is currently in a good financial standing. The model also links recovery rates to the firm value at default so that the variation in recovery rates is endogenously generated and the correlation between recovery rates and credit ratings before default reported in Altman [J. Finance 44 (1989) 909] can be justified.

JEL Classification: G12, G13, G33.

Keywords: Credit spreads, Default, Jump risk, Bond pricing.

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