the web's biggest credit risk modeling resource.

Credit Jobs

Home Glossary Links FAQ / About Site Guide Search


Submit Your Paper

In Rememberance: World Trade Center (WTC)

doi> search: A or B

Export citation to:
- Text (plain)
- BibTeX

What Triggers Default? A study of the default boundary

by Sergei A. Davydenko of the University of Toronto

November 15, 2010

Abstract: In structural models of risky debt default is triggered when the market value of the firm's assets falls below a certain solvency boundary. Based on market values of defaulting firms, I estimate the default boundary to be 66% of the face value of debt, and find support for models in which the default timing is chosen endogenously to maximize the value of equity. Although default predictions based entirely on solvency can match observed average default frequencies, they misclassify a substantial number of firms in cross-section, affecting the accuracy of boundary-based models. In particular, cash shortages play an important independent role in triggering default, but only when access to external financing is restricted.

JEL Classification: G21, G30, G33.

Keywords: Credit risk, Default boundary, Insolvency, Cash shortage, Default

Previously titled: When Do Firms Default? A Study of the Default Boundary

Download paper (513K PDF) 50 pages

Most Cited Books within Credit Scoring Papers