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Macroeconomic Conditions and Credit Default Swap Spread Changes

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Journal of Futures Markets

Published online on


This study investigates the importance of the business cycle in explaining credit default swap spread changes by utilizing ex ante proxies. It uses portfolio regression and finds the structural variables, including the business cycle, explain approximately 65% of the spread differences. Furthermore, the business cycle variable enhances explanatory power more during the pre‐ and post‐crisis periods than during the crisis period and shows greater improvement for investment‐grade than for non‐investment‐grade firms. These results suggest that macroeconomic conditions play a critical role when the underlying asset value is likely to have greater distance from the default barrier. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 37:766–802, 2017