This paper considers a model of a rating agency with multiple clients, in which each client has a separate market that forms a belief about the quality of the client after the agency issues a rating. When the clients are rated separately (individual rating), the credibility of a good rating in an inflationary equilibrium of the signaling game is limited by the incentive of the agency to exaggerate the quality of the client. In centralized rating, the agency rates all clients together and shares the rating information among all markets. This allows the agency to coordinate the ratings and achieve a higher average level of credibility for its good ratings than in individual rating. In decentralized rating, the ratings are again shared among all markets, but each client is rated by a self-interested rater of the agency with no access to the quality information of other clients. When the underlying qualities of the clients are correlated, decentralized rating leads to a smaller degree of rating inflation and hence a greater level of credibility than in individual rating. Comparing centralized rating with decentralized rating, we find that centralized rating dominates decentralized rating for the agency when the underlying qualities are weakly correlated, but the reverse holds when the qualities are strongly correlated.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2004.
"Comparative Cheap Talk,"
2004-08, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sobel, Joel., 1985.
"Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games,"
565, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005.
"Media Bias and Reputation,"
NBER Working Papers
11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benabou, Roland & Laroque, Guy, 1992.
"Using Privileged Information to Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, and Credibility,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 921-58, August.
- Benabou, R. & Laroque, G., 1988. "Using Privileged Information To Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus And Credibility," Papers 19, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
- Benabou, R. & Laroque, G., 1989. "Using Privileged Information To Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, And Credibility," Working papers 513, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Quinzii, Martine & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1985. "Multidimensional signalling," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 261-284, June.
- Morgan, John & Stocken, Phillip C, 2003.
" An Analysis of Stock Recommendations,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 183-203, Spring.
- Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982.
"Strategic Information Transmission,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
- Sobel, Joel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 557-73, October.
- Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981.
"A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding,"
447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- William Chan & Hao Li & Wing Suen, 2005.
"A Signaling Theory of Grade Inflation,"
tecipa-222, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
- Karlin, Samuel & Rinott, Yosef, 1980. "Classes of orderings of measures and related correlation inequalities. I. Multivariate totally positive distributions," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 467-498, December.
- Stephen Morris, 1999.
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1994. "Comparing Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 441-59, June.
- Engers, Maxim, 1987. "Signalling with Many Signals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 663-74, May.
- Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1991.
"Oligopoly Limit Pricing,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 155-172, Summer.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:the:publsh:370. 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: (Martin J. Osborne)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.