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In Rememberance: World Trade Center (WTC)

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Grundke, Peter and Karl O. Riedel, "Pricing the Risks of Default: A note on Madan and Unal", Review of Derivatives Research, Vol. 7, No. 2, (August 2004), pp. 169-173.

Abstract: In their well-known article, Madan and Unal (1998) presented one of the first intensity-based credit risk models. In this approach the default intensity is directly linked to the market value of the firm's equity. In order to derive the probability of default Madan and Unal have to solve a partial differential equation (PDE). Here, we show that one of the transformations in the derivation of the solution of this PDE is not correct and analyze the difference between the correct solution of the PDE and the solution based on the incorrect transformation. As a consequence of the transformation error the credit risk of a debtor is systematically underestimated.

JEL Classification: G13.

Keywords: credit risk, default intensity, partial differential equation.

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