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Credit Ratings and Debt Crises

Author

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  • Bussière, M.
  • Ristiniemi, A.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bussière, M. & Ristiniemi, A., 2012. "Credit Ratings and Debt Crises," Working papers 396, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:396
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    File URL: https://publications.banque-france.fr/sites/default/files/medias/documents/working-paper_396_2012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martín González-Rozada & EduardoLevy Yeyati, 2008. "Global Factors and Emerging Market Spreads," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1917-1936, November.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. G. Ferri & L.-G. Liu & J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "The Procyclical Role of Rating Agencies: Evidence from the East Asian Crisis," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 335-355, November.
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    6. 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.
    7. Galina Hale, 2005. "Courage to Capital? A Model of the Effects of Rating Agencies on Sovereign Debt Roll–over," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp062, IIIS.
    8. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2013. "Ratings quality over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 62-78.
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    10. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Default, Currency Crises, and Sovereign Credit Ratings," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 151-170, August.
    11. 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.
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    13. Guillermo Larraín & Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1997. "Emerging Market Risk and Sovereign Credit Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 124, OECD Publishing.
    14. 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.
    15. Aitor Erce, 2012. "Selective sovereign defaults," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 127, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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    19. António Afonso, 2002. "Understanding the Determinants of Government Debt Ratings: Evidence for the Two Leading Agencies," Working Papers Department of Economics 2002/02, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Barthélemy, J. & Marx, M., 2012. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle: New Comment," Working papers 403, Banque de France.
    2. Holden, Steinar & Natvig, Gisle James & Vigier, Adrien, 2012. "An Equilibrium Model of Credit Rating Agencies," Memorandum 01/2013, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Aitor Erce, 2012. "Does the IMF's official support affect sovereign bonds maturities?," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 128, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    4. Anna Gibert, 2016. "The Signaling Role of Fiscal Austerity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1623, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Aitor Erce, 2012. "Does the IMF´s official support affect sovereign bond maturities?," Working Papers 1231, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit rating agencies; debt crises; fiscal policy; emerging market economies; developing countries; panel estimation.;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions

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