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Market power and reputational concerns in the ratings industry

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  • Mariano, Beatriz

Abstract

This paper studies the incentives of rating agencies to reveal the information that they obtain about their client firms. In the model, rating agencies seek to maximize their reputation and protect their market power. They observe public information and obtain either precise or noisy private information about a firm. Reputational concerns dictate that a rating reflects private information when it is precise. However, when private information is noisy, two situations arise. In a monopoly, the rating agency may ignore private information and issue a rating that conforms to public information. Under some conditions, it may even become cautious and issue bad ratings ignoring both types of information. With competition, however, it has incentives to contradict public information as a way to pretend that it holds precise private information. Moreover, it may become more likely to issue good ratings in an attempt to protect market power.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariano, Beatriz, 2012. "Market power and reputational concerns in the ratings industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1616-1626.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:6:p:1616-1626
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2012.01.012
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reputation; Rating agencies; Market power; Conformism; Private information; Public information;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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