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Compensation incentives of credit rating agencies and predictability of changes in bond ratings and financial strength ratings

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  • Milidonis, Andreas

Abstract

Over the past decade there has been mixed evidence on the lead–lag relation between issuer-paid and investor-paid credit rating agencies. We investigate the lead–lag relationship for changes in bond ratings (BRs) and financial strength ratings (FSRs), for the US insurance industry, where FSRs impose market discipline. First, we find that changes in issuer-paid BRs are led by changes in investor-paid BRs, even over a period that issuer-paid agencies have improved their timeliness. Second, information flows in both directions between changes in issuer-paid BRs and FSRs. Third, issuer-paid FSRs are predictable by investor-paid BRs. Fourth, the lead effect of investor-paid downgrades is economically significant as it is associated with an unconditional, post-event, 30-day cumulative abnormal return of −4%. This return is a result of investor-paid downgrades in BRs, which predict more downgrades in the following 90days (same period return of −11%).

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:37:y:2013:i:9:p:3716-3732
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2013.04.032
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    2. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.
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    5. Ben Ammar, Semir & Eling, Martin & Milidonis, Andreas, 2018. "The cross-section of expected stock returns in the property/liability insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 292-321.
    6. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.
    7. Jess N. Cornaggia & Kimberly J. Cornaggia & John E. Hund, 2017. "Credit Ratings Across Asset Classes: A Long-Term Perspective," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(2), pages 465-509.
    8. Berwart, Erik & Guidolin, Massimo & Milidonis, Andreas, 2019. "An empirical analysis of changes in the relative timeliness of issuer-paid vs. investor-paid ratings," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 88-118.
    9. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.
    10. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.
    11. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.
    12. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.
    13. Hirth, Stefan, 2014. "Credit rating dynamics and competition," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 100-112.
    14. Michaelides, Alexander & Milidonis, Andreas & Nishiotis, George P., 2019. "Private information in currency markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(3), pages 643-665.
    15. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.
    16. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.

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    Keywords

    Credit rating agencies; Information dissemination; Timeliness; Predictability; Insurance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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