IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/8156.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Ratings Quality over the Business Cycle

Author

Listed:
  • Bar-Isaac, Heski
  • Shapiro, Joel

Abstract

The reduced accuracy of credit ratings on structured finance products in the boom just preceding the financial crisis has prompted investigation into the business of Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs). While CRAs have long held that their behavior is disciplined by reputational concerns, the value of reputation depends on economic fundamentals that vary over the business cycle. These include income from fees, default probabilities for the securities rated, competition in the labor market for analysts, and expectations about the future. We analyze a dynamic model of ratings where reputation is endogenous and the market environment may vary over time. We find that a CRA is more likely to issue less accurate ratings in boom times than during recessionary periods. Persistence in economic conditions can diminish our results, while mean reversion exacerbates them. Finally, we demonstrate that competition among CRAs yields similar qualitative results.

Suggested Citation

  • Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2010. "Ratings Quality over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8156, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8156
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8156
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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, June.
    2. Naveen Khanna & Thomas H. Noe & Ramana Sonti, 2008. "Good IPOs Draw in Bad: Inelastic Banking Capacity and Hot Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(5), pages 1873-1906, September.
    3. Lin, Hsiou-wei & McNichols, Maureen F., 1998. "Underwriting relationships, analysts' earnings forecasts and investment recommendations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 101-127, February.
    4. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas & Joel Shapiro, 2012. "The Credit Ratings Game," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 85-112, February.
    5. Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2012. "Securitization, Transparency, and Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(8), pages 2417-2453.
    6. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Todd T. Milbourn & Anjolein Schmeits, 2006. "Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanisms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 81-118.
    7. Becker, Bo & Milbourn, Todd, 2011. "How did increased competition affect credit ratings?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 493-514, September.
    8. Efraim Benmelech & Jennifer Dlugosz, 2010. "The Credit Rating Crisis," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 161-207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Andrew R. Jackson, 2005. "Trade Generation, Reputation, and Sell‐Side Analysts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 673-717, April.
    10. Skreta, Vasiliki & Veldkamp, Laura, 2009. "Ratings shopping and asset complexity: A theory of ratings inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 678-695, July.
    11. Bo Becker & Todd Milbourn, 2008. "Reputation and competition: evidence from the credit rating industry," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-051, Harvard Business School, revised Sep 2010.
    12. John Haltiwanger & Joseph E. Harrington Jr., 1991. "The Impact of Cyclical Demand Movements on Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 89-106, Spring.
    13. Adam B. Ashcraft & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & James Vickery, 2010. "MBS ratings and the mortgage credit boom," Staff Reports 449, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    14. Kyle Bagwell & Robert Staiger, 1997. "Collusion Over the Business Cycle," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 82-106, Spring.
    15. Heski Bar-Isaac & Joel Shapiro, 2011. "Credit Ratings Accuracy and Analyst Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 120-124, May.
    16. Mariano, Beatriz, 2012. "Market power and reputational concerns in the ratings industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1616-1626.
    17. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-686.
    18. Paul Povel & Rajdeep Singh & Andrew Winton, 2007. "Booms, Busts, and Fraud," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 1219-1254.
    19. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
    20. Lawrence J. White, 2010. "Markets: The Credit Rating Agencies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 211-226, Spring.
    21. Stolper, Anno, 2009. "Regulation of credit rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1266-1273, July.
    22. Mariano, Beatriz, 2008. "Do reputational concerns lead to reliable ratings?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24433, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    23. John M. Griffin & Dragon Yongjun Tang, 2012. "Did Subjectivity Play a Role in CDO Credit Ratings?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(4), pages 1293-1328, August.
    24. Pedro Dal Bó, 2007. "Tacit collusion under interest rate fluctuations," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 533-540, June.
    25. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2003. "Limited attention, information disclosure, and financial reporting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-3), pages 337-386, December.
    26. Bar-Isaac, Heski, 2005. "Imperfect competition and reputational commitment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 167-173, November.
    27. Paolo Fulghieri & Günter Strobl & Han Xia, 2014. "The Economics of Solicited and Unsolicited Credit Ratings," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(2), pages 484-518.
    28. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
    29. Doron Kliger & Oded Sarig, 2000. "The Information Value of Bond Ratings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2879-2902, December.
    30. Michihiro Kandori, 1991. "Correlated Demand Shocks and Price Wars During Booms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 171-180.
    31. Strausz, Roland, 2005. "Honest certification and the threat of capture," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 45-62, February.
    32. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Tadelis, Steven, 2008. "Seller Reputation," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 4(4), pages 273-351, August.
    33. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
    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. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Lovo, Stefano, 2013. "Credit rating industry: A helicopter tour of stylized facts and recent theories," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 643-651.
    2. Chen, Yongmin & Gu, Dingwei & Yao, Zhiyong, 2013. "Rating Inflation versus Deflation: On Procyclical Credit Ratings," MPRA Paper 51159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas & Joel Shapiro, 2012. "The Credit Ratings Game," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 85-112, February.
    4. Farkas, Miklós, 2021. "Competition, communication and rating bias," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 637-656.
    5. Cornaggia, Jess & Cornaggia, Kimberly J. & Xia, Han, 2016. "Revolving doors on Wall Street," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 400-419.
    6. Efing, Matthias & Hau, Harald, 2015. "Structured debt ratings: Evidence on conflicts of interest," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 46-60.
    7. Fischer, Thomas, 2015. "Market structure and rating strategies in credit rating markets – A dynamic model with matching of heterogeneous bond issuers and rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 39-56.
    8. Mariano, Beatriz, 2012. "Market power and reputational concerns in the ratings industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1616-1626.
    9. Yao, Zhiyong & Gu, Dingwei & Chen, Yongmin, 2017. "Rating deflation versus inflation: On procyclical credit ratings," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 46-64.
    10. Ashcraft, A. & Goldsmith-Pinkham, P. & Vickery, J., 2010. "MBS Ratings and the Mortgage Credit Boom," Other publications TiSEM 5da00f7a-44c3-4829-903c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Bae, Kee-Hong & Driss, Hamdi & Roberts, Gordon S., 2019. "Does competition affect ratings quality? Evidence from Canadian corporate bonds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 605-623.
    12. Becker, Bo & Milbourn, Todd, 2011. "How did increased competition affect credit ratings?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 493-514, September.
    13. Harald Hau & Sam Langfield & David Marques-Ibanez, 2013. "Bank ratings: what determines their quality? [Bank risk during the financial crisis: do business models matter?]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 28(74), pages 289-333.
    14. Doherty, Neil A. & Kartasheva, Anastasia V. & Phillips, Richard D., 2012. "Information effect of entry into credit ratings market: The case of insurers' ratings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 308-330.
    15. Valentina Bruno & Jess Cornaggia & Kimberly J. Cornaggia, 2016. "Does Regulatory Certification Affect the Information Content of Credit Ratings?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(6), pages 1578-1597, June.
    16. Michael R. King & Steven Ongena & Nikola Tarashev, 2020. "Bank Standalone Credit Ratings," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(4), pages 101-144, September.
    17. 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.
    18. Hirth, Stefan, 2014. "Credit rating dynamics and competition," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 100-112.
    19. Kraft, Pepa, 2015. "Do rating agencies cater? Evidence from rating-based contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 264-283.
    20. Marandola, Ginevra, 2021. "Local Credit Rating Agencies: Is their economic role underrated?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 143-156.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit rating agencies; Ratings Accuracy; Reputation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

    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:cpr:ceprdp:8156. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    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: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.