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Understanding the Determinants of Government Debt Ratings: Evidence for the Two Leading Agencies

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  • António Afonso

Abstract

I conduct an analysis of the possible determinants of sovereign credit ratings assigned by the two leading credit rating agencies, Moody's and Standard and Poor's, by using both a linear and a logistic transformation of the rating scales. Of the large number of variables that can be used, the set of explanatory variables selected in this study is significant in explaining the credit ratings. Namely, six variables appear to be the most relevant to determine a country's credit rating: GDP per capita, external debt, level of economic development, default history, real growth rate and inflation rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number 2002/02.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp22002

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Postal: Department of Economics, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Rua do Quelhas 6, 1200-781 LISBON, PORTUGAL
Web page: https://aquila1.iseg.ulisboa.pt/aquila/departamentos/EC

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Keywords: Credit ratings; sovereign debt;

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References

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  1. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Working Papers 1894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "One Reason Countries Pay Their Debts: Renegotiation and International Trade," Working Papers 042002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  3. Bennett Sutton & Luis Catão, 2002. "Sovereign Defaults: The Role of Volatility," IMF Working Papers 02/149, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget," Levine's Working Paper Archive 209, David K. Levine.
  5. International Monetary Fund, 1998. "The Relative Importance of Political and Economic Variables in Creditworthiness Ratings," IMF Working Papers 98/46, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Lee, Suk Hun, 1993. "Are the credit ratings assigned by bankers based on the willingness of LDC borrowers to repay?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 349-359, April.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476.
  8. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from US States," CEPR Discussion Papers 1088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Holzmann, Robert & Palacios, Robert & Zviniene, Asta, 2004. "Implicit pension debt: issues, measurement and scope in international perspective," Social Protection Discussion Papers 30153, The World Bank.
  10. Jean-Claude Cosset & Jean Roy, 1991. "The Determinants of Country Risk Ratings," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 135-142, March.
  11. Nadeem Ul Haque & Manmohan S. Kumar & Nelson Mark & Donald J. Mathieson, 1996. "The Economic Content of Indicators of Developing Country Creditworthiness," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(4), pages 688-724, December.
  12. Guillermo Larraín & Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1997. "Emerging Market Risk and Sovereign Credit Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 124, OECD Publishing.
  13. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from the U.S. States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1046-59, November.
  14. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Bussière, M. & Ristiniemi, A., 2012. "Credit Ratings and Debt Crises," Working papers 396, Banque de France.
  2. António Afonso & Davide Furceri & Pedro Gomes, 2011. "Sovereign credit ratings and financial markets linkages: application to European data," Working Papers Department of Economics 2011/14, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  3. Peter Rowland, 2004. "The Colombian Sovereign Spread And Its Determinants," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003572, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  4. Eli M. Remolona & Michela Scatigna & Eliza Wu, 2008. "A ratings-based approach to measuring sovereign risk," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 26-39.
  5. Sanjeev Gupta & Amine Mati & Emanuele Baldacci, 2008. "Is it (Still) Mostly Fiscal? Determinants of Sovereign Spreads in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 08/259, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Aivazian, Sergey & Golovan, Sergey & Karminsky, Alexander & Peresetsky, Anatoly, 2011. "An approach to ratings mapping," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 23(3), pages 13-40.
  7. Peter Rowland, . "Determinants of Spread and Credit Ratings and Creditworthiness for Emerging Market Sovereign Debt: A Follow-Up Study Using Pooled Data Analysis," Borradores de Economia 296, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  8. Afonso, António & Gomes, Pedro & Rother, Philipp, 2007. "What “hides” behind sovereign debt ratings?," Working Paper Series 0711, European Central Bank.
  9. Asta KlimaviÄienÄ—, 2011. "Sovereign Credit Rating Announcements and Baltic Stock Markets," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 2(1).
  10. Laura Jaramillo, 2010. "Determinants of Investment Grade Status in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 10/117, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Peter Rowland & José Luis Torres, . "Determinants of Spread and Creditworthiness for Emerging Market Sovereign Debt:A Panel Data Study," Borradores de Economia 295, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  12. Afonso, Antonio & Strauch, Rolf, 2007. "Fiscal policy events and interest rate swap spreads: Evidence from the EU," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 261-276, July.
  13. Peter Rowland, 2005. "Buyback Of Colombian Sovereign Debt," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002073, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  14. 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.
  15. Miguel García-Posada & Josep M.ª Vilarrubia, 2008. "Map of the international exposure of the Spanish economy," Banco de Espa�a Occasional Papers 0807, Banco de Espa�a.
  16. Peter Rowland, 2004. "Determinants Of Spread , Credit Rating And Creditworthiness For Emerging Market Sovereign Debt: A Panel Data Study," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002336, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  17. Peter Rowland, . "Buyback of Colombian Sovereign Debt," Borradores de Economia 331, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

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