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An empirical analysis of changes in credit rating properties: Timeliness, accuracy and volatility

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  • Cheng, Mei
  • Neamtiu, Monica

Abstract

In recent years, credit rating agencies have faced increased regulatory pressure and investor criticism for their ratings' lack of timeliness. This study investigates whether and how rating agencies respond to such pressure and criticism. We find that the rating agencies not only improve rating timeliness, but also increase rating accuracy and reduce rating volatility. Our findings support the criticism that, in the past, rating agencies did not avail themselves of the best rating methodologies/efforts possible. When their market power is threatened by the possibility of increased regulatory intervention and/or reputation concerns, rating agencies respond by improving their credit analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Cheng, Mei & Neamtiu, Monica, 2009. "An empirical analysis of changes in credit rating properties: Timeliness, accuracy and volatility," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1-2), pages 108-130, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:47:y:2009:i:1-2:p:108-130
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kolasinski, Adam C., 2009. "A tale of two intermediaries: A discussion of Johnston, Markov and Ramnath (2009), and Cheng and Neamtiu (2009)," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1-2), pages 131-135, March.
    2. repec:eee:finsta:v:34:y:2018:i:c:p:44-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Milidonis, Andreas, 2013. "Compensation incentives of credit rating agencies and predictability of changes in bond ratings and financial strength ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3716-3732.
    4. Tao Wang, 2016. "Time-Varying Rating Standards and the Distorted Incentives of Credit Rating Agencies," Global Credit Review (GCR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 6(01), pages 21-39.
    5. Isabelle Distinguin & Iftekhar Hasan & Amine Tarazi, 2013. "Predicting rating changes for banks: how accurate are accounting and stock market indicators?," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 471-500, August.
    6. repec:eee:reacre:v:27:y:2015:i:2:p:129-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Berger, Philip G., 2011. "Challenges and opportunities in disclosure research—A discussion of ‘the financial reporting environment: Review of the recent literature’," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 204-218.
    8. Kraft, Pepa, 2015. "Do rating agencies cater? Evidence from rating-based contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 264-283.
    9. Michaelides, Alexander & Milidonis, Andreas & Nishiotis, George & Papakyriacou, Panayiotis, 2012. "Sovereign Debt Rating Changes and the Stock Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 8743, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Dimitrov, Valentin & Palia, Darius & Tang, Leo, 2015. "Impact of the Dodd-Frank act on credit ratings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 505-520.
    11. Blakespoor, Elizabeth & Linsmeier, Thomas J. & Petroni, Kathy & Shakespeare, Catherine, 2012. "Fair Value Accounting for Financial Instruments: Does It Improve the Association between Bank Leverage and Credit Risk?," Research Papers 2107, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    12. Erik Berwart & Massimo Guidolin & Andreas Milidonis, 2013. "An Empirical Analysis of Changes in the Relative Timeliness of Issuer-Paid vs. Investor-Paid Ratings," Working Papers 482, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    13. Bonsall, Samuel B., 2014. "The impact of issuer-pay on corporate bond rating properties: Evidence from Moody׳s and S&P׳s initial adoptions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 89-109.
    14. Doumpos, Michael & Niklis, Dimitrios & Zopounidis, Constantin & Andriosopoulos, Kostas, 2015. "Combining accounting data and a structural model for predicting credit ratings: Empirical evidence from European listed firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 599-607.
    15. Lawrence J. White, 2013. "Credit Rating Agencies: An Overview," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 93-122, November.
    16. Bannier, Christina E. & Hirsch, Christian W., 2010. "The economic function of credit rating agencies - What does the watchlist tell us?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 3037-3049, December.
    17. Lawrence J. White, 2010. "Markets: The Credit Rating Agencies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 211-226, Spring.
    18. Michaelides, Alexander & Milidonis, Andreas & Nishiotis, George P. & Papakyriakou, Panayiotis, 2015. "The adverse effects of systematic leakage ahead of official sovereign debt rating announcements," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 526-547.
    19. Henry, Tyler R. & Kisgen, Darren J. & Wu, Juan (Julie), 2015. "Equity short selling and bond rating downgrades," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 89-111.
    20. Kiesel, Florian, 2016. "The effect of credit and rating events on credit default swap and equity markets," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 81265, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    21. Xia, Han, 2014. "Can investor-paid credit rating agencies improve the information quality of issuer-paid rating agencies?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 450-468.
    22. repec:bla:abacus:v:53:y:2017:i:1:p:59-93 is not listed on IDEAS

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