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Non-rating revenue and conflicts of interest

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  • Baghai, Ramin P.
  • Becker, Bo

Abstract

Rating agencies produce ratings used by investors, but obtain most of their revenue from issuers, leading to a conflict of interest. We employ a unique data set on the use of non-rating services, and the associated payments, in India, to test if this conflict affects ratings quality. Agencies rate issuers that pay them for non-rating services higher (than agencies not hired for such services). Such issuers also have higher default rates. Both effects are increasing in the amount paid. These results suggest that issuers which hire agencies for non-rating services receive higher ratings despite having higher default risk.Keywords: Credit ratings; Agency problems; Issuer-pays;

Suggested Citation

  • Baghai, Ramin P. & Becker, Bo, 2018. "Non-rating revenue and conflicts of interest," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 94-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:127:y:2018:i:1:p:94-112
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2017.10.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Wai Choi Lee & Jianfu Shen & Tsun Se Cheong & Michal Wojewodzki, 2021. "Detecting conflicts of interest in credit rating changes: a distribution dynamics approach," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-23, December.
    2. Andreas G. F. Hoepner & Savio Dimatteo & Joe Schauld & Pei-Shan Yi & Mirco Musolesi, 2017. "Tweeting About Sustainability: Can Emotional Nowcasting Discourage Greenwashing?," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2017-02, Henley Business School, University of Reading.
    3. 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.
    4. Yalta, A. Talha & Yalta, A. Yasemin, 2018. "Are credit rating agencies regionally biased?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 682-694.
    5. Krishnan, Kaveri & Mukherji, Arnab & Basu, Sankarshan, 2020. "Market responses to increased transparency: An Indian narrative," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 663-677.
    6. Leo Tang & Marietta Peytcheva & Pei Li, 2020. "Investor-Paid Ratings and Conflicts of Interest," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 163(2), pages 365-378, May.
    7. Guneren Genc, Elif & Deniz Basar, Ozlem, 2019. "Comparison of Country Ratings of Credit Rating Agencies with MOORA Method," Business and Economics Research Journal, Uludag University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, vol. 10(2), pages 391-404, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Martijn Boermans & Bram van der Kroft, 2020. "Inflated credit ratings, regulatory arbitrage and capital requirements: Do investors strategically allocate bond portfolios?," DNB Working Papers 673, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit ratings; agency problems; issuer-pays;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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