Song Han, Hao Zhou “Effect of Liquidity on the Nondefault Component of Corporate Bond Spreads:Evidence from Intraday Transactions Data” Quarterly Journal of Finance, forthcoming, 2015.
We estimate the nondefault component of corporate bond yield spreads and examine its relationship with bond liquidity. We measure bond liquidity using intraday transactions data and estimate the default component using the term structure of credit default swaps (CDS) spreads. With swap rate as the risk free rate, the estimated nondefault component is generally moderate but statistically significant for AA-, A-, and BBB-rated bonds and increasing in this order. With Treasury rate as the risk free rate, the estimated non-default component is the largest in basis points for BBB-rated bonds but, as a fraction of yield spreads, it is the largest for AAA-rated bonds. Controlling for the unobservable firm heterogeneity, we find a positive and significant relationship between the non-default component and illiquidity for investment-grade bonds but no significant relationship for speculative-grade bonds. We also find that the non-default component co-moves with indicators for macroeconomic conditions.