Firm default and aggregate fluctuations

Tor Jacobson, Jesper Linde, Kasper Roszbach

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

36 Citaten (Scopus)


This paper studies the relationship between macroeconomic fluctuations and corporate defaults while conditioning on industry affiliation and an extensive set of firm-specific factors. By using a panel data set for virtually all incorporated Swedish businesses over 1990-2009, a period which includes a full-scale banking crisis, we find strong evidence for a substantial and stable impact from aggregate fluctuations on business defaults. A standard logit model with financial ratios augmented with macroeconomic factors can account surprisingly well for the outburst in business defaults during the banking crisis, as well as the subsequent fluctuations in default frequencies. Moreover, the effects ofmacroeconomic variables differ across industries in an economically intuitiveway. Out-of- sample evaluations show that our approach is superior to models that exclude macro information and standard well-fitting time-series models. Our analysis shows that firm-specific factors are useful in ranking firms' relative riskiness, but that macroeconomic factors are necessary to understand fluctuations in the absolute risk level.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)945-972
Aantal pagina's28
TijdschriftJournal of the European Economic Association
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - aug.-2013

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