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Two-sided Certification: The market for Rating Agencies

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  • Erik R. Fasten
  • Dirk Hofmann

Abstract

Certifiers contribute to the sound functioning of markets by reducing asymmetric information. They, however, have been heavily criticized during the 2008-09 financial crisis. This paper investigates on which side of the market a monopolistic profit-maximizing certifier offers his service. If the seller demands a rating, the certifier announces the product quality publicly, whereas if the buyer requests a rating it remains his private information. The model shows that the certifier offers his service to sellers and buyers to maximize his own profit with a higher share from the sellers. Overall, certifiers increase welfare in specific markets. Revenue shifts due to the financial crisis are also explained.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik R. Fasten & Dirk Hofmann, 2010. "Two-sided Certification: The market for Rating Agencies," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-007, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2010-007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Konrad Stahl & Roland Strausz, 2017. "Certification and Market Transparency," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(4), pages 1842-1868.
    2. Krzysztof Burnecki & Joanna Janczura & Rafal Weron, 2010. "Building Loss Models," HSC Research Reports HSC/10/03, Hugo Steinhaus Center, Wroclaw University of Technology.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Certification; Rating Agencies; Asymmetric Information; Financial Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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