Estimation of Distress Costs Associated with Downgrades Using Regime Switching Models

North American Actuarial Journal, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 42-60, 2007

40 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2007 Last revised: 20 Jan 2011

Andreas Milidonis

University of Cyprus - Department of Accounting and Finance

Shaun Wang

Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business

Date Written: September 28, 2007

Abstract

We use a unique dataset of bond downgrades from a niche rating company that has been found to be reacting faster to publicly available information than its competitors. Using regime-switching models we propose risk measures to quantify stock return disturbances (distress costs) associated with the timing of downgrades. These risk measures are based on the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and use the estimated parameters of the regime-switching models in a method that resembles a dynamic event study. We observe a noticeable switch from a low-volatility to a high-volatility regime one day before the day of downgrades. On average the volatility in stock returns triples around the time of downgrades and the stock return process remains in the high-volatility regime for about three days. Using our proposed risk measure we find that stock returns are associated with distress costs of about twenty-two*d percent (where "d" is the daily market price of risk) over a window of ten days before and after downgrades. These costs can be further separated between bond rating companies that are designated by the SEC as nationally recognized to rate debt and those which are not.

Keywords: NRSRO Ratings, Markov Regime-Switching, CAPM

JEL Classification: C10, C30, C40, C50, C60, D43, D80, G14, G18, G33

Suggested Citation

Milidonis, Andreas and Wang, Shaun, Estimation of Distress Costs Associated with Downgrades Using Regime Switching Models (September 28, 2007). North American Actuarial Journal, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 42-60, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1011142

Andreas Milidonis (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 20537
Nicosia CY-1678
Cyprus
+357 22 893 626 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucy.ac.cy/~amilidon/

Shaun S. Wang

Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 4036
Atlanta, GA 30302-4036
United States
404-413-7486 (Phone)
404-413-7499 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rmi.gsu.edu/Faculty/pages/wang.htm

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