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Two-sided Certification: The market for Rating Agencies

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  • Erik R. Fasten
  • Dirk Hofmann
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    Abstract

    Certifiers contribute to the sound functioning of markets by reducing asymmetric information. They, however, have been heavily criticized during the 2008-09 financial crisis. This paper investigates on which side of the market a monopolistic profit-maximizing certifier offers his service. If the seller demands a rating, the certifier announces the product quality publicly, whereas if the buyer requests a rating it remains his private information. The model shows that the certifier offers his service to sellers and buyers to maximize his own profit with a higher share from the sellers. Overall, certifiers increase welfare in specific markets. Revenue shifts due to the financial crisis are also explained.

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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2010-007.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2010-007.

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    Length: 44 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2010-007

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    Related research

    Keywords: Certification; Rating Agencies; Asymmetric Information; Financial Markets;

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    References

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    1. Kim, Jinwoo, 2008. "The value of an informed bidder in common value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 585-595, November.
    2. Vasiliki Skreta & Laura Veldkamp, 2008. "Ratings Shopping and Asset Complexity: A Theory of Ratings Inflation," Working Papers 08-28, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    3. Amadou N.R. Sy, 2009. "The Systemic Regulation of Credit Rating Agencies and Rated Markets," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 10(4), pages 69-108, October.
    4. Campbell, Colin M. & Levin, Dan, 2000. "Can the Seller Benefit from an Insider in Common-Value Auctions?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 106-120, March.
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    6. Efraim Benmelech & Jennifer Dlugosz, 2010. "The Credit Rating Crisis," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 161-207 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    9. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H. & Wilson, Charles A., 1990. "Auctions For Oil And Gas Leases With An Informed Bidder And A Random Reservation Price," Working Papers 90-47, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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    12. Reinhart, Carmen & Levich, Richard & Majoni, Giovanni, 2002. "Ratings, rating agencies and the global financial system: Summary and policy implications," MPRA Paper 13249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
    14. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
    15. Cantor, Richard, 2004. "An introduction to recent research on credit ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2565-2573, November.
    16. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
    17. Sobel, Joel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 557-73, October.
    18. Rafael Rob, 1985. "A Note on Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(11), pages 1431-1439, November.
    19. M. Weverbergh, 1979. "Note--Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information Reanalyzed," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(3), pages 291-294, March.
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