A Merton-model approach to assessing the default risk of UK public companies

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 24 June 2003

Working Paper No. 194
By Merxe Tudela and Garry Young

This paper shows how a Merton-model approach can be used to develop measures of the probability of failure of individual quoted UK companies. Probability estimates are then constructed for a group of failed companies and their properties as leading indicators of failure assessed. Probability estimates of failure for a control group of surviving companies are also constructed. These are used in probit regressions to evaluate the information content of the Merton-based estimates relative to information available in company accounts and in assessing Type I and Type II errors. We also look at power curves and accuracy ratios. The paper shows that there is much useful information in the Merton-style estimates.

PDFA Merton-model approach to assessing the default risk of UK public companies

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