IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bis/biswps/129.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bis.org/publ/work129.pdf
    File Function: Full PDF document
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.bis.org/publ/work129.htm
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:fth:pennfi:67 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Claudio Borio & Craig Furfine & Philip Lowe, 2001. "Procyclicality of the financial system and financial stability: issues and policy options," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Marrying the macro- and micro-prudential dimensions of financial stability, volume 1, pages 1-57, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Richard F. Syron, 1991. "Are we experiencing a credit crunch?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 3-10.
    4. Nickell, Pamela & Perraudin, William & Varotto, Simone, 2000. "Stability of rating transitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 203-227, January.
    5. Marshall E. Blume & Felix Lim & A. Craig Mackinlay, 1998. "The Declining Credit Quality of U.S. Corporate Debt: Myth or Reality?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1389-1413, August.
    6. Marshall E. Blume & Felix Lim & A. Craig MacKinlay, "undated". "The Declining Credit Quality of US Corporate Debt: Myth or Reality?," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-98, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    7. Dimson, Elroy, 1979. "Risk measurement when shares are subject to infrequent trading," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 197-226, June.
    8. Marshall E. Blume & Felix Lim & A. Craig MacKinlay, "undated". "The Declining Credit Quality of US Corporate Debt: Myth or Reality?," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-98, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    9. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Amato, Jeffery D. & Furfine, Craig H., 2004. "Are credit ratings procyclical?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2641-2677, November.
    2. Jones, Stewart & Johnstone, David & Wilson, Roy, 2015. "An empirical evaluation of the performance of binary classifiers in the prediction of credit ratings changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 72-85.
    3. Posch, Peter N., 2011. "Time to change. Rating changes and policy implications," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 641-656.
    4. Mizen, Paul & Tsoukas, Serafeim, 2012. "Forecasting US bond default ratings allowing for previous and initial state dependence in an ordered probit model," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 273-287.
    5. Thomas Mählmann, 2009. "Multiple Credit Ratings, Cost of Debt and Self‐Selection," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(9‐10), pages 1228-1251, November.
    6. Chen, Jie & Hill, Paula, 2013. "The impact of diverse measures of default risk on UK stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5118-5131.
    7. Güttler, André & Raupach, Peter, 2008. "The impact of downward rating momentum on credit portfolio risk," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2008,16, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    8. Xing, Haipeng & Sun, Ning & Chen, Ying, 2012. "Credit rating dynamics in the presence of unknown structural breaks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 78-89.
    9. Christensen, Jens H.E. & Hansen, Ernst & Lando, David, 2004. "Confidence sets for continuous-time rating transition probabilities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2575-2602, November.
    10. Altman, Edward I. & Rijken, Herbert A., 2004. "How rating agencies achieve rating stability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2679-2714, November.
    11. Thomas Mählmann, 2009. "Multiple Credit Ratings, Cost of Debt and Self-Selection," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(9-10), pages 1228-1251.
    12. Hill, Paula & Brooks, Robert & Faff, Robert, 2010. "Variations in sovereign credit quality assessments across rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1327-1343, June.
    13. Kerem Tuzcuoglu, 2019. "Composite Likelihood Estimation of an Autoregressive Panel Probit Model with Random Effects," Staff Working Papers 19-16, Bank of Canada.
    14. Perraudin, William & Taylor, Alex P., 2004. "On the consistency of ratings and bond market yields," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2769-2788, November.
    15. Florou, Annita & Kosi, Urska & Pope, Peter F., 2017. "Are international accounting standards more credit relevant than domestic standards?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68202, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
    17. Annita Florou & Urska Kosi & Peter F. Pope, 2017. "Are international accounting standards more credit relevant than domestic standards?," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 1-29, January.
    18. Ying Zhou & Xia Lin & Guotai Chi & Peng Jin & Mengtong Li, 2024. "EWT‐SMOTE to improve default prediction performance in imbalanced data: Analysis of Chinese data," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 43(3), pages 615-643, April.
    19. Tao Wang, 2016. "Time-Varying Rating Standards and the Distorted Incentives of Credit Rating Agencies," Global Credit Review (GCR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 6(01), pages 21-39.
    20. Patrick Gagliardini, 2005. "Stochastic Migration Models with Application to Corporate Risk," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 188-226.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit risk; rating agencies; business cycles; ordered probit; maximum likelihood;
    All these keywords.

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:129. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Martin Fessler (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bisssch.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.