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An equilibrium model of credit rating agencies

  • Steinar Holden

    ()

    (University of Oslo)

  • Gisle James Natvik

    ()

    (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

  • Adrien Vigier

    ()

    (University of Oslo)

We develop a model of credit rating agencies (CRAs) based on reputation concerns. Ratings affect investors' choice and, thereby, also issuers' access to funding and default risk. We show that - in equilibrium - the informational content of credit ratings is inferior to that of CRAs' private information. We find that CRAs have a pro-cyclical impact on default risk: in a liquidity boom CRAs help resolve investors' coordination problem, and lower the probability of default; in a liquidity crunch CRAs raise the probability of default. Furthermore, rating standards tend to be pro-cyclical, while biased CRA-incentives will ultimately be selfdefeating.

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Paper provided by Norges Bank in its series Working Paper with number 2012/23.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 18 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2012_23
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  1. Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Eloïc Peyrache & Lucía Quesada, 2009. "The ownership of ratings," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 234-257.
  2. Aleh Tsyvinski & Arijit Mukherji & Christian Hellwig, 2006. "Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1769-1787, December.
  3. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 2004. "Coordination risk and the price of debt," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 133-153, February.
  4. Carlson Mark & Hale Galina B, 2006. "Rating Agencies and Sovereign Debt Rollover," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-32, September.
  5. Mathis, Jérôme & McAndrews, James & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2009. "Rating the raters: Are reputation concerns powerful enough to discipline rating agencies?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 657-674, July.
  6. Hull, John & Predescu, Mirela & White, Alan, 2004. "The relationship between credit default swap spreads, bond yields, and credit rating announcements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2789-2811, November.
  7. Boot, Arnoud W A & Milbourn, Todd, 2002. "Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanism," CEPR Discussion Papers 3331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  9. Vasiliki Skreta & Laura Veldkamp, 2008. "Ratings Shopping and Asset Complexity: A Theory of Ratings Inflation," Working Papers 08-28, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Bussière, M. & Ristiniemi, A., 2012. "Credit Ratings and Debt Crises," Working papers 396, Banque de France.
  11. Ismailescu, Iuliana & Kazemi, Hossein, 2010. "The reaction of emerging market credit default swap spreads to sovereign credit rating changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2861-2873, December.
  12. Ashcraft, A. & Goldsmith-Pinkham, P. & Vickery, J., 2010. "MBS Ratings and the Mortgage Credit Boom," Discussion Paper 2010-89S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  13. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide & Gomes, Pedro, 2012. "Sovereign credit ratings and financial markets linkages: Application to European data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 606-638.
  14. Jens Hilscher & Mungo Wilson, 2011. "Credit ratings and credit risk," Working Papers 31, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  15. Mariano, Beatriz, 2012. "Market power and reputational concerns in the ratings industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1616-1626.
  16. Galil, Koresh & Soffer, Gil, 2011. "Good news, bad news and rating announcements: An empirical investigation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 3101-3119, November.
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