Inferring default correlation from equity return correlation

Sheen Liu, Howard Qi, Jian Shi, Yan Alice Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper presents a new approach for estimating default correlation by linking default correlation to equity return correlation while preserving the fundamental relation between default and asset correlations in the structural framework. Our hybrid model thus overcomes a long-standing empirical difficulty that default correlation estimation relies on the unobservable asset process. The empirical analysis shows that our hybrid model demonstrates a considerable improvement over the existing structural model of Zhou (2001) for the sample periods of 1970-1993 and 1990-2010. We also illustrate the difference between the two models in predicting default correlations over the period of the 2008 financial crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-359
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Financial Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Default correlation
  • Defaultable bonds
  • Equity (return) correlation
  • Structural model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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