Committee ChairHelwege, Jean
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation consists of two papers. The first paper examines the propagation of firm-specific shocks as well as market-wide shocks between 1995-2003 using Treasury and corporate bond market data. It then tests the implications of previously proposed models of contagion. I find little support for the industry and counterparty structure hypothesis, suggesting that fundamentals do not generate contagion. Consistent with the information transmission, rebalancing, and liquidity-shock hypotheses, I find evidence of flight to quality during the event periods. However, in contrast to the prediction of the liquidity-shock channel, the corporate bond market, on average, seems to be more liquid during event periods (evidenced by higher trading volume, trading frequency, and mean bond age). Furthermore, there are no significant changes in the trading of assets with the low transaction costs, which is contrary to the rebalancing theory. These findings are more in favor of the correlated information channel as a means of inducing contagion.The second paper examines the effect of liquidity on corporate bond prices using the newly formed TRACE data set. In the spirit of Acharya and Pedersen's (2005) liquidity-adjusted capital asset pricing model (LCAPM), I examine the impact of multiple sources of risk on corporate bond prices. The results do not lend strong support for the existence of liquidity risk in the corporate bond market or for the LCAPM, especially when liquidity is captured using the trading frequency, trading volume, and turnover. Contrary to the predictions of the LCAPM, more illiquid portfolios do not have higher values for the three liquidity betas; betas that capture the commonality in liquidity with the market, the sensitivity in returns with the market-wide liquidity, and the liquidity sensitivity with the market returns. Furthermore, after running cross-sectional regressions I do not find strong evidence either for the validity of the model or that liquidity risk does matter for the corporate bond prices.