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Institutional Environment and Sovereign Credit Ratings

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  • Alexander W. Butler
  • Larry Fauver

Abstract

We use a sample of 86 counties to examine the cross-sectional determinants of sovereign credit ratings. We find that the quality of a country's legal and political institutions plays a vital role in determining these ratings. A one-standard-deviation increase in our legal environment index results in an average credit rating increase of 0.466 standard deviations, even when we control for obvious factors such as GDP per capita, inflation, foreign debt per GDP, previous defaults, and general development. Although part of this effect is due to the legal environment's endogeneity, its relative importance is robust to endogeneity concerns. Copyright (c) 2006 Financial Management Association International.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Financial Management Association International in its journal Financial Management.

Volume (Year): 35 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 53-79

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Handle: RePEc:bla:finmgt:v:35:y:2006:i:3:p:53-79

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  1. Eaton, J. & Fernandez, R., 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Papers 37, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  3. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2002. "Law and finance : why does legal origin matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2904, The World Bank.
  4. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  5. Stulz, Rene M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2003. "Culture, openness, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 313-349, December.
  6. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Determinants and impact of sovereign credit ratings," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 37-53.
  8. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R. & Lundblad, Christian, 2005. "Does financial liberalization spur growth?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 3-55, July.
  9. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "Serial Default and the "Paradox" of Rich to Poor Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 10296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Chen, Sheng-Syan & Chen, Hsien-Yi & Chang, Chong-Chuo & Yang, Shu-Ling, 2013. "How do sovereign credit rating changes affect private investment?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 4820-4833.
  2. António Afonso & Pedro Gomes & Philipp Rother, 2006. "What “Hides” Behind Sovereign Debt Ratings?," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/35, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  3. Pastor Monsálvez José Manuel & Fernández de Guevara Radoselovics Juan & Salvador Muñoz Carlos, 2012. "Impact of the Subprime Crisis on Bank Ratings: The Effect of the Hardening of Rating Policies and Worsening of Solvency," Working Papers 2012120, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  4. Rodolphe Desbordes & Céline Azémar, 2010. "Short-Run Strategies For Attracting Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers 1005, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  5. Philipp Maier & Garima Vasishtha, 2008. "Good Policies or Good Fortune: What Drives the Compression in Emerging Market Spreads?," Working Papers 08-25, Bank of Canada.
  6. Suk‐Joong Kim & Eliza Wu, 2011. "International Bank Flows To Emerging Markets: Influence Of Sovereign Credit Ratings And Their Regional Spillover Effects," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association & Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 34(2), pages 331-364, 06.
  7. Purificacion Parrado-Martinez & Antonio Parta Ureña & Pilar Gomez Fernandez-Aguado, 2014. "Usefulness of Financial Soundness Indicators for risk assessment: The case of EU member countries," Working Papers 14.01, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Financial Economics and Accounting (former Department of Business Administration).
  8. Saurav Roychoudhury & Robert A. Lawson, 2010. "Economic freedom and sovereign credit ratings and default risk," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 149-162, June.
  9. Dilek Teker & Aynur Pala & Oya Kent, 2013. "Determination of Sovereign Rating: Factor Based Ordered Probit Models for Panel Data Analysis Modelling Framework," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 3(1), pages 122-132.
  10. Aktug, R. Erdem & Nayar, Nandkumar (Nandu) & Vasconcellos, Geraldo M., 2013. "Is sovereign risk related to the banking sector?," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 222-249.

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