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The Ownership of Ratings

  • Faure-Grimaud, Antoine
  • Peyrache, Eloïc
  • Quesada, Lucía

Standard & Poor's provides corporate governance ratings to firms who can, upon learning those, decide to reveal them or not to the market. This paper identifies the circumstances under which such a simple ownership contract over ratings can emerge as the optimal arrangement. Firms hiding their ratings can only be an equilibrium outcome if they are sufficiently uncertain of their quality at the time of hiring a certification intermediary and if the decision to get a rating is not observable. For some distribution functions of firms' qualities, a competitive market is a necessary condition for this result to obtain. Competition between rating intermediaries will unambiguously lead to less information being revealed in equilibrium.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5432.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5432
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  1. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  2. Paul A. Gompers & Joy L. Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," NBER Working Papers 8449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2003. "Robust Predictions for Bilateral Contracting with Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 757-791, 05.
  4. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Contracting With Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 337-388, May.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
  6. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
  7. Grossman, S J & Hart, O D, 1980. " Disclosure Laws and Takeover Bids," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 323-34, May.
  8. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Stole, Lars A, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311, January.
  9. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2008. "Costly contracting in a long-term relationship," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 352-377.
  10. Okuno-Fujiwara, Masahiro & Postlewaite, Andrew & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1990. "Strategic Information Revelation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 25-47, January.
  11. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
  12. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, March.
  13. Joseph Farrell, 1985. "Voluntary Disclosure: Robustness of the Unraveling Result, and Comments on Its Importance," Working papers 374, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Steven Shavell, 1994. "Acquisition and Disclosure of Information Prior to Sale," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 20-36, Spring.
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