The relationships among mandated accounting changes, bond covenants and security prices has been the focus of several studies. These studies have provided mixed evidence on the existence of a bond covenant effect on security prices. This paper suggests that inconclusive prior results are a consequence of inappropriately measuring the default risk of debt. Using an option pricing framework, it is shown that the debt to equity alone is not an adequate measure of default risk. In particular, both the debt to equity ratio and the total risk of the firm are necessary to adequately model the bond covenant effects of an accounting change. These theoretical propositions are supported by the empirical analysis of the security market reaction to changes in oil and gas accounting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics