IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfinec/v108y2013i1p46-61.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Rating agencies in the face of regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Opp, Christian C.
  • Opp, Marcus M.
  • Harris, Milton

Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical framework to shed light on variation in credit rating standards over time and across asset classes. Ratings issued by credit rating agencies serve a dual role: they provide information to investors and are used to regulate institutional investors. We show that introducing rating-contingent regulation that favors highly rated securities may increase or decrease rating informativeness, but unambiguously increases the volume of highly rated securities. If the regulatory advantage of highly rated securities is sufficiently large, delegated information acquisition is unsustainable, since the rating agency prefers to facilitate regulatory arbitrage by inflating ratings. Our model relates rating informativeness to the quality distribution of issuers, the complexity of assets, and issuers' outside options. We reconcile our results with the existing empirical literature and highlight new, testable implications, such as repercussions of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Suggested Citation

  • Opp, Christian C. & Opp, Marcus M. & Harris, Milton, 2013. "Rating agencies in the face of regulation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 46-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:108:y:2013:i:1:p:46-61
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2012.10.011
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304405X12002243
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jfineco.2012.10.011?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
    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. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas & Joel Shapiro, 2012. "The Credit Ratings Game," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 85-112, February.
    4. Ashcraft, A. & Goldsmith-Pinkham, P. & Vickery, J., 2010. "MBS Ratings and the Mortgage Credit Boom," Other publications TiSEM 5da00f7a-44c3-4829-903c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Drew Fudenberg & David Levine & Eric Maskin, 2008. "The Folk Theorem With Imperfect Public Information," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine (ed.), A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 12, pages 231-273, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Opp, Marcus M., 2012. "Expropriation risk and technology," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 113-129.
    7. Drew Fudenberg & Eric Maskin, 2008. "The Folk Theorem In Repeated Games With Discounting Or With Incomplete Information," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine (ed.), A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 11, pages 209-230, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Ellul, Andrew & Jotikasthira, Chotibhak & Lundblad, Christian T., 2011. "Regulatory pressure and fire sales in the corporate bond market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 596-620, September.
    9. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Todd T. Milbourn & Anjolein Schmeits, 2006. "Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanisms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 81-118.
    10. John M. Griffin & Dragon Yongjun Tang, 2012. "Did Subjectivity Play a Role in CDO Credit Ratings?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(4), pages 1293-1328, August.
    11. Chen, Zhihua & Lookman, Aziz & Schürhoff, Norman & Seppi, Duane J, 2012. "Bond Ratings Matter: Evidence from the Lehman Brothers Index Rating Redefinition," CEPR Discussion Papers 9108, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    13. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
    14. Strausz, Roland, 2005. "Honest certification and the threat of capture," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 45-62, February.
    15. Joshua Coval & Jakub Jurek & Erik Stafford, 2009. "The Economics of Structured Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 3-25, Winter.
    16. Philip Bond & Itay Goldstein & Edward Simpson Prescott, 2010. "Market-Based Corrective Actions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(2), pages 781-820, February.
    17. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1988. "Selling and Trading on Information in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 96-103, May.
    18. Darren J. Kisgen & Philip E. Strahan, 2010. "Do Regulations Based on Credit Ratings Affect a Firm's Cost of Capital?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(12), pages 4324-4347, December.
    19. Becker, Bo & Milbourn, Todd, 2011. "How did increased competition affect credit ratings?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 493-514, September.
    20. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    21. Benmelech, Efraim & Dlugosz, Jennifer, 2009. "The alchemy of CDO credit ratings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 617-634, July.
    22. Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2012. "Competition through Commissions and Kickbacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 780-809, April.
    23. Adam Ashcraft & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & Peter Hull & James Vickery, 2011. "Credit Ratings and Security Prices in the Subprime MBS Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 115-119, May.
    24. Oecd, 2010. "Labour markets and the crisis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 756, OECD Publishing.
    25. Ram T. S. Ramakrishnan & Anjan V. Thakor, 1984. "Information Reliability and a Theory of Financial Intermediation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 415-432.
    26. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "Optimal Bypass and Cream Skimming," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1042-1061, December.
    27. Rock, Kevin, 1986. "Why new issues are underpriced," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 187-212.
    28. Admati, Anat R. & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1986. "A monopolistic market for information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 400-438, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Efing, Matthias & Hau, Harald, 2015. "Structured debt ratings: Evidence on conflicts of interest," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 46-60.
    2. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Lovo, Stefano, 2013. "Credit rating industry: A helicopter tour of stylized facts and recent theories," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 643-651.
    3. Valentina Bruno & Jess Cornaggia & Kimberly J. Cornaggia, 2016. "Does Regulatory Certification Affect the Information Content of Credit Ratings?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(6), pages 1578-1597, June.
    4. Spyros Pagratis, 2013. "Ratings Hardwiring and Asset Prices," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(320), pages 621-649, October.
    5. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2013. "Ratings quality over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 62-78.
    6. Bae, Kee-Hong & Driss, Hamdi & Roberts, Gordon S., 2019. "Does competition affect ratings quality? Evidence from Canadian corporate bonds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 605-623.
    7. Kraft, Pepa, 2015. "Do rating agencies cater? Evidence from rating-based contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 264-283.
    8. Lugo, Stefano, 2014. "Discretionary ratings and the pricing of subprime mortgage-backed securities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 248-260.
    9. Yun Wang & Yilan Xu, 2015. "Race to the Top: Credit Rating Bias from Competition," Working Papers 2015-05-12, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University, revised 10 Jul 2015.
    10. Mariano, Beatriz, 2012. "Market power and reputational concerns in the ratings industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1616-1626.
    11. Cornaggia, Jess & Cornaggia, Kimberly J. & Xia, Han, 2016. "Revolving doors on Wall Street," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 400-419.
    12. Josephson, Jens & Shapiro, Joel, 2020. "Credit ratings and structured finance," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
    13. Becker, Bo & Opp, Marcus M. & Saidi, Farzad, 2020. "Regulatory Forbearance in the U.S. Insurance Industry: The Effects of Eliminating Capital Requirements," CEPR Discussion Papers 14373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Keser, Claudia & Özgümüs, Asri & Peterlé, Emmanuel & Schmidt, Martin, 2017. "An experimental investigation of rating-market regulation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 78-86.
    15. 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.
    16. Becker, Bo & Milbourn, Todd, 2011. "How did increased competition affect credit ratings?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 493-514, September.
    17. 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.
    18. Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Feedback Effects of Credit Ratings," 2011 Meeting Papers 1338, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. 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.
    20. Manso, Gustavo, 2013. "Feedback effects of credit ratings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 535-548.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial regulation; Rating agencies; Certification; Dodd-Frank Act;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:108:y:2013:i:1:p:46-61. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Nithya Sathishkumar (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.