Determinants and impacts of sovereign credit ratings
AbstractIn this article, we present the first systematic analysis of the sovereign credit ratings of the two leading agencies, Moody's and Standard & Poor's (S&P). We find that the ordering of risks they imply is broadly consistent with macroeconomic fundamentals. While the agencies cite a large number of criteria in their assignment of sovereign ratings, a regression using only eight factors explains more than 90 percent of the cross-sectional variation in the ratings. In particular, a country's rating appears largely determined by its per capita income, external debt burden, inflation experience, default history and level of economic development. We do not, however, find any systematic relationship between ratings and either fiscal or current deficits, perhaps because of the endogeneity of fiscal policy and international capital flows. Sovereign ratings are also closely related to market-determined credit spreads, effectively summarizing and supplementing the information content of macroeconomic indicators in the pricing of sovereign risk. Cross-sectional results suggest that the rating agencies' opinions have independent effects on market spreads. Event study analysis broadly confirms this qualitative conclusion, for the reactions of bond yields to the announcements of changes in the agencies' sovereign risk opinions are statistically significant with respect to both their sign and magnitude.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Research Paper with number 9608.
Date of creation: 1996
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Farber).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.