IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Credit Rating Agencies Add Value? Evidence from the Sovereign Rating Business Institutions


  • Eduardo Cavallo


  • Andrew Powell


  • Roberto Rigobon


If rating agencies add no new information to markets, their actions are not a public policy concern. But as rating changes may be anticipated, testing whether ratings add value is not straightforward. This paper argues that ratings and spreads are both noisy signals of fundamentals and suggest ratings add value if, controlling for spreads, they help explain other variables. The paper additionally analyzes the different actions (ratings and outlooks) of the three leading agencies for sovereign debt, also considering the differing effects of more or less anticipated events. The results are consistent across a wide range of tests. Ratings do matter and hence how the market for ratings functions may be a public policy concern.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduardo Cavallo & Andrew Powell & Roberto Rigobon, 2008. "Do Credit Rating Agencies Add Value? Evidence from the Sovereign Rating Business Institutions," Research Department Publications 4601, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4601

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Default, Currency Crises, and Sovereign Credit Ratings," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 151-170, August.
    3. Martín González-Rozada & EduardoLevy Yeyati, 2008. "Global Factors and Emerging Market Spreads," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1917-1936, November.
    4. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    5. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1998. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging-Market Debt: Fundamentals or Market Sentiment?," NBER Working Papers 6408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Martín González-Rozada & EduardoLevy Yeyati, 2008. "Global Factors and Emerging Market Spreads," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1917-1936, November.
    7. António Afonso & Pedro Gomes & Philipp Rother, 2006. "What “Hides” Behind Sovereign Debt Ratings?," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/35, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    8. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 2000. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging Market Debt?," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 107-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Schnabel, Isabel & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2006. "How Do Official Bailouts Affect the Risk of Investing in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1689-1714, October.
    10. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Determinants and impact of sovereign credit ratings," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 37-53.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:pal:compes:v:59:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_s41294-017-0024-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jens Hilscher & Yves Nosbusch, 2010. "Determinants of Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Fundamentals and the Pricing of Sovereign Debt," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(2), pages 235-262.
    3. Juan J. Cruces & Christoph Trebesch, 2013. "Sovereign Defaults: The Price of Haircuts," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 85-117, July.
    4. Hassan, Gazi & Wu, Eliza, 2012. "Sovereign country rating, growth volatility and financial crisis," MPRA Paper 40085, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F37 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:idb:wpaper:4601. 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: (Felipe Herrera Library). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

    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.