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Are credit ratings procyclical?

Author

Listed:
  • C. H. Furfine
  • Jeffery D. Amato

    (Goldman Sachs International)

Abstract

This paper studies the influence of the state of the business cycle on credit ratings. In particular, we assess whether rating agencies are excessively procyclical in their assignment of ratings. Our analysis is based on a model of ratings determination that takes into account factors that measure the business and financial risks of firms, in addition to indicators of macroeconomic conditions. Utilising annual data on all US firms rated by Standard&Poor's, we find little evidence of procyclicality in ratings. By contrast, we find that initial ratings and rating changes exhibit excess sensitivity to the business cycle. The paper offers two explanations of these results.

Suggested Citation

  • C. H. Furfine & Jeffery D. Amato, 2003. "Are credit ratings procyclical?," BIS Working Papers 129, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:129
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nickell, Pamela & Perraudin, William & Varotto, Simone, 2000. "Stability of rating transitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 203-227, January.
    2. Dimson, Elroy, 1979. "Risk measurement when shares are subject to infrequent trading," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 197-226, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Creighton, Adam & Gower, Luke & Richards, Anthony J., 2007. "The impact of rating changes in Australian financial markets," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Schuermann, Til & Treutler, Bjorn-Jakob & Weiner, Scott M., 2006. "Macroeconomic Dynamics and Credit Risk: A Global Perspective," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1211-1261, August.
    3. McAleer, Michael & da Veiga, Bernardo & Hoti, Suhejla, 2011. "Value-at-Risk for country risk ratings," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 81(7), pages 1454-1463.
    4. André Lucas & Siem Jan Koopman, 2005. "Business and default cycles for credit risk," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 311-323.
    5. Cesaroni, Tatiana, 2015. "Procyclicality of credit rating systems: How to manage it," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 62-83.
    6. Florence Béranger & Jérôme Teïletche, 2003. "Bâle II et la procyclicité," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 73(4), pages 227-250.
    7. André Güttler, 2005. "Using a Bootstrap Approach to Rate the Raters," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 19(3), pages 277-295, October.
    8. Peura, Samu & Jokivuolle, Esa, 2004. "Simulation based stress tests of banks' regulatory capital adequacy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1801-1824, August.
    9. Van Roy, Patrick, 2005. "Credit ratings and the standardised approach to credit risk in Basel II," Working Paper Series 517, European Central Bank.
    10. Anatoly Peresetsky & Alexandr Karminsky & Sergei Golovan, 2011. "Probability of default models of Russian banks," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 297-334, November.
    11. Mark Illing & Graydon Paulin, 2005. "Basel II and the Cyclicality of Bank Capital," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(2), pages 161-180, June.
    12. Eleimon Gonis & Peter Taylor, 2009. "Changing credit rating standards in the UK: empirical evidence from 1999 to 2004," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 213-225.
    13. Jesús Saurina & Carlos Trucharte, 2004. "The Impact of Basel II on Lending to Small- and Medium-Sized Firms: A Regulatory Policy Assessment Based on Spanish Credit Register Data," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 121-144, October.
    14. Mejra Festić, 2006. "Procyclicality of Financial and Real Sector in Transition Economies," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2006(4), pages 315-349.
    15. Mark Illing & Graydon Paulin, 2004. "The New Basel Capital Accord and the Cyclical Behaviour of Bank Capital," Staff Working Papers 04-30, Bank of Canada.
    16. Heid, Frank, 2007. "The cyclical effects of the Basel II capital requirements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3885-3900, December.
    17. Linda Allen & Anthony Saunders, 2004. "Incorporating Systemic Influences Into Risk Measurements: A Survey of the Literature," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 161-191, October.
    18. Athanasoglou, Panayiotis P. & Daniilidis, Ioannis & Delis, Manthos D., 2014. "Bank procyclicality and output: Issues and policies," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 58-83.
    19. Panayiotis P. Athanasoglou & Ioannis Daniilidis, 2011. "Procyclicality in the banking industry: causes, consequences and response," Working Papers 139, Bank of Greece.
    20. Katherine Wyatt, 2004. "CP3's Standardized Approach for Credit Risk and Current Capital Requirements," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 103-119, October.
    21. Sorge, Marco & Virolainen, Kimmo, 2006. "A comparative analysis of macro stress-testing methodologies with application to Finland," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 113-151, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit risk; rating agencies; business cycles; ordered probit; maximum likelihood;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • 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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