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In Rememberance: World Trade Center (WTC)

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Hillegeist, Stephen A., Elizabeth K. Keating, Donald P. Cram, and Kyle G. Lundstedt, "Assessing the Probability of Bankruptcy", Review of Accounting Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, (March 2004), pp. 5-34.

Abstract: We assess whether two popular accounting-based measures, Altman's (1968) Z-Score and Ohlson's (1980) O-Score, effectively summarize publicly-available information about the probability of bankruptcy. We compare the relative information content of these Scores to a market-based measure of the probability of bankruptcy that we develop based on the Black-Scholes-Merton option-pricing model, BSM-Prob. Our tests show that BSM-Prob provides significantly more information than either of the two accounting-based measures. This finding is robust to various modifications of Z-Score and O-Score, including updating the coefficients, making industry adjustments, and decomposing them into their lagged levels and changes. We recommend that researchers use BSM-Prob instead of Z-Score and O-Score in their studies and provide the SAS code to calculate BSM-Prob.

JEL Classification: M41, G1, C41, C52.

Keywords: bankruptcy prediction, option-pricing models, Z-Score, O-Score.

Previously titled: Corporate Bankruptcy: Do Debt Covenant and Disclosure Quality Measures Provide Information Beyond Options and Other Market Variables?

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