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Credit Ratings Accuracy and Analyst Incentives

Author

Listed:
  • Heski Bar-Isaac
  • Joel Shapiro

Abstract

The financial crisis has brought a new focus on the accuracy of credit rating agencies (CRAs). In this paper, we highlight the incentives of analysts at the CRAs to provide accurate ratings. We construct a model in which analysts initially work at a CRA and can then either remain or move to a bank. The CRA uses incentive contracts to motivate analysts, but does not capture the benefits if the analyst moves. We find that rating agency accuracy increases with CRA monitoring, bank profitability (a positive "revolving door" effect), and can be non-monotonic in the probability of an analyst leaving.

Suggested Citation

  • Heski Bar-Isaac & Joel Shapiro, 2011. "Credit Ratings Accuracy and Analyst Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 120-124, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:120-24
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.120
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2013. "Ratings quality over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 62-78.
    2. Skreta, Vasiliki & Veldkamp, Laura, 2009. "Ratings shopping and asset complexity: A theory of ratings inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 678-695, July.
    3. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2007. "Contracting with imperfect commitment and noisy communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 236-259.
    4. Strausz, Roland, 2005. "Honest certification and the threat of capture," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 45-62.
    5. Adam B. Ashcraft & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & James Vickery, 2010. "MBS ratings and the mortgage credit boom," Staff Reports 449, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2014. "Optimal incentive contracts for knowledge workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 82-106.
    2. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2013. "Ratings quality over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 62-78.
    3. Efing, Matthias & Hau, Harald, 2015. "Structured debt ratings: Evidence on conflicts of interest," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 46-60.
    4. Harald Hau & Sam Langfield & David Marques-Ibanez, 2013. "Bank ratings: what determines their quality?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 28(74), pages 289-333, April.
    5. repec:kap:jrefec:v:55:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11146-016-9563-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Doherty, Neil A. & Kartasheva, Anastasia V. & Phillips, Richard D., 2012. "Information effect of entry into credit ratings market: The case of insurers' ratings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 308-330.
    7. Fuchs , Andreas & Gehring , Kai, 2013. "The Home Bias in Sovereign Ratings," Working Papers 0552, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    8. Konrad Stahl & Roland Strausz, 2017. "Certification and Market Transparency," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 1842-1868.
    9. Byoun, Soku, 2014. "Information content of unsolicited credit ratings and incentives of rating agencies: A theory," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 338-349.
    10. repec:eee:reveco:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:19-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Luitel, Prabesh & Vanpée, Rosanne & De Moor, Lieven, 2016. "Pernicious effects: How the credit rating agencies disadvantage emerging markets," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, pages 286-298.
    12. Marco Pagano, 2013. "Finance: Economic Lifeblood or Toxin?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Social Value of the Financial Sector Too Big to Fail or Just Too Big?, chapter 8, pages 109-146 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. Andreas Freytag & Martin Zenker, 2012. "The Credit Rating Market - Options for Appropriate Regulation," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 2012-39, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    14. José Jorge, 2016. "Sovereign Ratings and Investor Behavior," CEF.UP Working Papers 1601, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    15. Cornaggia, Jess & Cornaggia, Kimberly J. & Xia, Han, 2016. "Revolving doors on Wall Street," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 400-419.
    16. Yao, Zhiyong & Gu, Dingwei & Chen, Yongmin, 2017. "Rating deflation versus inflation: On procyclical credit ratings," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, pages 46-64.
    17. Maksim Isakin & Alexander David, "undated". "Bayesian Persuasion in Credit Ratings, the Credit Cycle, and the Riskiness of Structured Debt," Working Papers 2015-13, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 16 Jul 2015.
    18. Braun, Tobias, 2011. "Wie interagieren Banken und Ratingagenturen? Eine ökonomische Analyse des Bewertungsmarktes für strukturierte Finanzprodukte," Discussion Papers 2011-17, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Chair of Economic Ethics.
    19. Chen, Yongmin & Gu, Dingwei & Yao, Zhiyong, 2013. "Rating Inflation versus Deflation: On Procyclical Credit Ratings," MPRA Paper 51159, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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