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Tiebreaker: Certification and Multiple Credit Ratings


This paper explores the economic role credit rating agencies play in the corporate bond market. We consider three existing theories about multiple ratings: information production, rating shopping and regulatory certification. Using differences in rating composition, default prediction and credit spread changes, our evidence only supports regulatory certification. Marginal, additional credit ratings are more likely to occur because of, and seem to matter primarily for regulatory purposes, but do not seem to provide significant additional information related to credit quality.

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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 67 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 113-152

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:67:y:2012:i:1:p:113-152
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Glen B. Taksler, 2003. "Equity Volatility and Corporate Bond Yields," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2321-2350, December.
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  4. 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.
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  7. Winnie P. H. Poon & Michael Firth, 2005. "Are Unsolicited Credit Ratings Lower? International Evidence From Bank Ratings," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(9-10), pages 1741-1771.
  8. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-86.
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  16. Darren J. Kisgen, 2006. "Credit Ratings and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1035-1072, 06.
  17. Christina E. Bannier & Marcel Tyrell, 2005. "Modelling the role of credit rating agencies - Do they spark off a virtuous circle?," Working Paper Series: Finance and Accounting 160, Department of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.
  18. Shin, Yoon S. & Moore, William T., 2003. "Explaining credit rating differences between Japanese and U.S. agencies," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 327-344.
  19. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
  20. Bo Becker & Todd Milbourn, 2008. "Reputation and competition: evidence from the credit rating industry," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-051, Harvard Business School, revised Sep 2010.
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