University of Twente Student Theses


Bankruptcy predicion for Dutch private firms using the Altman Z-score model

Boekhorst, P. (2018) Bankruptcy predicion for Dutch private firms using the Altman Z-score model.

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Abstract:This thesis aims to evaluate the predictive ability of the Altman z-score model (1983) in the Netherlands. It starts with discussions on what bankruptcy is, how the Dutch bankruptcy systems works and how the various bankruptcy prediction models work. The Altman z-score model is a multiple discriminant analysis considering five financial ratios, which consider liquidity, size, productivity, solvency, and efficiency of a firm’s assets. The model gives z-scores in three classifications, the ‘safe’ or ‘bankrupt’ zone or the zone in between named ‘grey zone’. In this thesis it is studied whether bankrupt and non-bankrupt firms are correctly classified in the right zone. The classification accuracy of three versions of the Altman z-score model are analysed and compared. The sample consisted of financial data from around 16.000 Dutch private limited liability firms from the years 2007 to 2015. Accuracy classifications were analysed for one through three years prior bankruptcy. The results suggested that bankrupt firms do not have z-scores falling in the distress zone and non-bankrupt firms do score in the as safe predicted zone. This indicates the Altman z-score model is not directly useful for Dutch private firms. Even after re-estimation by the coefficients by logistics regression analysis, the model does not provide an useful prediction tool. In conclusion, the findings coincide with that of prior research that results of bankruptcy prediction that used Altman models should be interpreted cautiously and the classification ability is likely to differ per time-period and country studied. Results of this study suggests that the predictive ability of the model in the Netherlands is lower, with around 30 to 45% classification accuracy, compared to previous studies in other countries, which report around 70 to 90% classification accuracy. When using the Altman z-score model in practice, it would be useful to re-estimate the coefficients on a more specific sample and perhaps take more ratios into consideration.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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