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Revolving doors on Wall Street

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  • Cornaggia, Jess
  • Cornaggia, Kimberly J.
  • Xia, Han

Abstract

Credit analysts often leave rating agencies to work at firms they rate. We use benchmark rating agencies as counterfactuals to measure rating inflation in a difference-in-differences framework and find that transitioning analysts award inflated ratings to their future employers before switching jobs. We find no evidence that analysts inflate ratings of other firms they rate. Market based measures of hiring firms' credit quality further indicate that transitioning analysts' inflated ratings become less informative. We conclude that conflicts of interest at the analyst level distort credit ratings. More broadly, our results shed light on the economic consequences of revolving doors.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornaggia, Jess & Cornaggia, Kimberly J. & Xia, Han, 2016. "Revolving doors on Wall Street," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 400-419.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:120:y:2016:i:2:p:400-419
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2016.01.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Kempf, Elisabeth, 2020. "The job rating game: Revolving doors and analyst incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 41-67.
    2. Dongmin Kong & Junyi Xiang & Jian Zhang & Yiyang Lu, 2019. "Politically connected independent directors and corporate fraud in China," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 58(5), pages 1347-1383, March.
    3. Chen, Zhihua & Wang, Zhen, 2021. "Do firms obtain multiple ratings to hedge against downgrade risk?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    4. Elisabeth Kempf & Margarita Tsoutsoura, 2018. "Partisan Professionals: Evidence from Credit Rating Analysts," NBER Working Papers 25292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lim, Ivan & Hagendorff, Jens & Armitage, Seth, 2019. "Is the fox guarding the henhouse? Bankers in the Federal Reserve, bank leverage and risk-shifting," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 478-504.
    6. Santiago Kopoboru & Gloria Cuevas-Rodríguez & Leticia Pérez-Calero, 2020. "Boards that Make a Difference in Firm’s Acquisitions: The Role of Interlocks and Former Politicians in Spain," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-19, January.
    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. Kilian R. Dinkelaker & Andreas-Walter Mattig & Stefan Morkoetter, 2019. "A Closer Look at Credt Rating Processes: Uncovering the Impact of Analyst Rotation," Working Papers on Finance 1911, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    9. Yuval Feldman & Eliran Halali, 2019. "Regulating “Good” People in Subtle Conflicts of Interest Situations," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 154(1), pages 65-83, January.
    10. Alessandro De Chiara & Marco A. Schwarz, 2020. "A Dynamic Theory of Regulatory Capture," Working Papers 2020-12, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    11. Horton, Joanne & Serafeim, George & Wu, Shan, 2017. "Career concerns of banking analysts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 231-252.
    12. Fabo, Brian & Jancokova, Martina & Kempf, Elisabeth & Pástor, Lubos, 2020. "Fifty Shades of QE: Conflicts of Interest in Economic Research," CEPR Discussion Papers 15449, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Stephen P. Ferris & Reza Houston & David Javakhadze, 2016. "Friends in the Right Places: The Effect of Political Connections on Corporate Merger Activity," NFI Working Papers 2016-WP-01, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
    14. 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.
    15. Ormazabal, Gaizka, 2018. "The Role of Stakeholders in Corporate Governance: A View from Accounting Research," CEPR Discussion Papers 12775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. 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.
    17. Barbosa, Klenio & Straub, Stéphane, 2017. "The Value of Revolving Doors in Public Procurement," TSE Working Papers 17-873, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised May 2020.
    18. Mukund Chari & H. Kevin Steensma & Charles Connaughton, 2020. "Previous and Prospective Career Mobility, Client Capture, and Compromised Professional Judgment: The Withholding of Known Relevant Prior Art by Patent Lawyers on Behalf of Their Clients," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(2), pages 489-507, March.
    19. Jess N. Cornaggia & Kimberly J. Cornaggia & Ryan D. Israelsen, 2020. "Where the Heart Is: Information Production and the Home Bias," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(12), pages 5532-5557, December.
    20. Kraft, Pepa & Xie, Yuan & Zhou, Ling, 2020. "The intraday timing of rating changes," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    21. Ferris, Stephen P. & Houston, Reza & Javakhadze, David, 2016. "Friends in the right places: The effect of political connections on corporate merger activity," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 81-102.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit ratings; NRSRO; Regulatory capture; Revolving door; Credit analysts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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