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Credit Ratings and Debt Crises

  • Bussière, M.
  • Ristiniemi, A.

This paper analyses the role of credit rating agencies in sovereign debt crises. Using a panel of 53 emerging and developing countries with annual data going back to 1977, the paper shows that credit ratings are not very good predictors of debt distress events once tested against a simple benchmark model with standard macroeconomic variables. Next, the paper turns to higher frequency data for a subset of countries to analyze the link between credit ratings and bond spreads. The results indicate that bond spreads react strongly to credit ratings, especially to downgrades in the non-investment grade category. The results are robust to a variety of additional tests.

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File URL: http://www.banque-france.fr/uploads/tx_bdfdocumentstravail/DT-396_01.pdf
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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 396.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:396
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/
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  1. Mark A. Carlson & Galina B. Hale, 2005. "Courage to Capital? A Model of the Effects of Rating Agencies on Sovereign Debt Role-over," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1506, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Eduardo Borensztein & Patricio Valenzuela & Kevin Cowan, 2007. "Sovereign Ceilings "Lite"? T+L3712he Impact of Sovereign Ratingson Corporate Ratings in Emerging Market Economies," IMF Working Papers 07/75, International Monetary Fund.
  3. António Afonso, 2002. "Understanding the Determinants of Government Debt Ratings: Evidence for the Two Leading Agencies," Working Papers Department of Economics 2002/02, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen, 2002. "Default, currency crises, and sovereign credit ratings," MPRA Paper 13917, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Sy, Amadou N.R., 2004. "Rating the rating agencies: Anticipating currency crises or debt crises?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2845-2867, November.
  6. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Martín González Rozada, 2005. "Global Factors and Emerging Market Spreads," Business School Working Papers globalfactorsspreads, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  7. Chiţu, Livia, 2012. "Was unofficial dollarisation/euroisation an amplifier of the 'Great Recession' of 2007-09 in emerging economies," Working Paper Series 1473, European Central Bank.
  8. Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2010. "Leads and lags in sovereign credit ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2614-2626, November.
  9. Reisen, Helmut & von Maltzan, Julia, 1999. "Boom and Bust and Sovereign Ratings," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 273-93, July.
  10. Marc Flandreau & Norbert Gaillard & Frank Packer, 2010. "To err is human: rating agencies and the interwar foreign government debt crisis," BIS Working Papers 335, Bank for International Settlements.
  11. Reinhart, Carmen, 2002. "Sovereign Credit Ratings Before and After Financial Crises," MPRA Paper 7410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Guillermo Larraín & Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1997. "Emerging Market Risk and Sovereign Credit Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 124, OECD Publishing.
  13. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2010. "Ratings Quality over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8156, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Aitor Erce, 2012. "Selective sovereign defaults," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 127, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  15. 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.
  16. Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1999. "Boom and Bust and Sovereign Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 148, OECD Publishing.
  17. Reinhart, Carmen & Goldstein, Morris & Kaminsky, Graciela, 2000. "Assessing financial vulnerability, an early warning system for emerging markets: Introduction," MPRA Paper 13629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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