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Modelling the role of credit rating agencies - Do they spark off a virtuous circle?


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  • Christina E. Bannier


  • Marcel Tyrell
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    In this paper, we propose a model of credit rating agencies using the global games framework to incorporate information and coordination problems. We introduce a refined utility function of a credit rating agency that, additional to reputation maximization, also embeds aspects of competition and feedback effects of the rating on the rated firms. Apart from hinting at explanations for several hypotheses with regard to agencies' optimal rating assessments, our model suggests that the existence of rating agencies may decrease the incidence of multiple equilibria. If investors have discretionary power over the precision of their private information, we can prove that public rating announcements and private information collection are complements rather than substitutes in order to secure uniqueness of equilibrium. In this respect, rating agencies may spark off a virtuous circle that increases the efficiency of the market outcome.

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    Paper provided by Department of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main in its series Working Paper Series: Finance and Accounting with number 160.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:fra:franaf:160

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    Keywords: information production; rating agencies; coordination problems; global game;

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    Cited by:
    1. Dion Bongaerts & K. J. Martijn Cremers & William N. Goetzmann, 2012. "Tiebreaker: Certification and Multiple Credit Ratings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 113-152, 02.


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