The Slope of the Credit Yield Curve for Speculative-Grade Issuers
Posted: 1 Mar 1998
Date Written: November 1997
Many theoretical bond pricing models predict that the credit yield curve facing risky bond issuers is downward-sloping. Previous empirical research (Sarig and Warga (1989) and Fons (1994)) supports these models. Our study examines sets of bonds issued by the same firm with equal priority in the liability structure, but with different maturities, thus holding credit quality constant. We find, counter to prior research, that risky bonds typically have upward-sloping credit yield curves. Moreover, when we combine our matched sets of bonds (no longer controlling credit quality), the estimated slope is negative, indicating a sample selection bias problem associated with maturity.
JEL Classification: G12, G13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation