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A comparison of alternative bankruptcy prediction models

Yanrui Wu, C. Gaunt and S. Gray

Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, 2010, vol. 6, issue 1, 34-45

Abstract: Early models of bankruptcy prediction employed financial ratios drawn from pre-bankruptcy financial statements and performed well both in-sample and out-of-sample. Since then there has been an ongoing effort in the literature to develop models with even greater predictive performance. A significant innovation in the literature was the introduction into bankruptcy prediction models of capital market data such as excess stock returns and stock return volatility, along with the application of the Black–Scholes–Merton option-pricing model. In this note, we test five key bankruptcy models from the literature using an up-to-date data set and find that they each contain unique information regarding the probability of bankruptcy but that their performance varies over time. We build a new model comprising key variables from each of the five models and add a new variable that proxies for the degree of diversification within the firm. The degree of diversification is shown to be negatively associated with the risk of bankruptcy. This more general model outperforms the existing models in a variety of in-sample and out-of-sample tests.

Keywords: Bankruptcy prediction models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics is currently edited by Agnes C.S. Cheng, P. Clarkson, F.A. Gul, Zoltan Matolcsy, Dan Simunic and Ben Srinidhi

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