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Two-sided Certification: The market for Rating Agencies

  • Erik R. Fasten
  • Dirk Hofmann
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    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.

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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2010-007.pdf
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    Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2010-007.

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    Length: 44 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2010-007
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    Web page: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de
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    1. Benabou, R. & Laroque, G., 1988. "Using Privileged Information To Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus And Credibility," Papers 19, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
    2. Amadou N. R. Sy, 2009. "The Systemic Regulation of Credit Rating Agencies and Rated Markets," IMF Working Papers 09/129, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Reinhart, Carmen & Levich, Richard & Majoni, Giovanni, 2002. "Ratings, rating agencies and the global financial system: Summary and policy implications," MPRA Paper 13249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    6. 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.
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    8. Vasiliki Skreta & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Ratings Shopping and Asset Complexity: A Theory of Ratings Inflation," NBER Working Papers 14761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    15. Sobel, Joel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 557-73, October.
    16. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H. & Wilson, Charles A., 1990. "Auctions For Oil And Gas Leases With An Informed Bidder And A Random Reservation Price," Working Papers 90-47, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    17. Cantor, Richard, 2004. "An introduction to recent research on credit ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2565-2573, November.
    18. Loffler, Gunter, 2004. "Ratings versus market-based measures of default risk in portfolio governance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2715-2746, November.
    19. M. Weverbergh, 1979. "Note--Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information Reanalyzed," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(3), pages 291-294, March.
    20. Campbell, Colin M. & Levin, Dan, 2000. "Can the Seller Benefit from an Insider in Common-Value Auctions?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 106-120, March.
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