The Altman Z Score Does Not Predict Bankruptcy

AIRA Journal, 33(3), 2020.

5 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020 Last revised: 27 Jan 2021

Date Written: October 20, 2020


The Altman Z Score (AZS) does not predict bankruptcy. The false positive rate of the AZS is 98%-99%. The AZS fails as a predictive model because it does not incorporate market evidence bearing on bankruptcy probability, specifically, returns, debt to an approximation of market value of assets, and stock price. In a probit model, AZS is statistically insignificant in the presence of these market variables.

Keywords: Altman Z, bankruptcy prediction, market evidence

Suggested Citation

Heaton, J.B., The Altman Z Score Does Not Predict Bankruptcy (October 20, 2020). AIRA Journal, 33(3), 2020., Available at SSRN: or

J.B. Heaton (Contact Author)

One Hat Research LLC ( email )

Chicago, IL
United States


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