IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ise/isegwp/wp22002.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Understanding the Determinants of Government Debt Ratings: Evidence for the Two Leading Agencies

Author

Listed:
  • António Afonso

Abstract

I conduct an analysis of the possible determinants of sovereign credit ratings assigned by the two leading credit rating agencies, Moody's and Standard and Poor's, by using both a linear and a logistic transformation of the rating scales. Of the large number of variables that can be used, the set of explanatory variables selected in this study is significant in explaining the credit ratings. Namely, six variables appear to be the most relevant to determine a country's credit rating: GDP per capita, external debt, level of economic development, default history, real growth rate and inflation rate.

Suggested Citation

  • António Afonso, 2002. "Understanding the Determinants of Government Debt Ratings: Evidence for the Two Leading Agencies," Working Papers Department of Economics 2002/02, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp22002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://depeco.iseg.ulisboa.pt/wp/wp022002.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, February.
    2. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 43-50, March.
    3. Rose, Andrew K., 2005. "One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 189-206, June.
    4. Guillermo Larraín & Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1997. "Emerging Market Risk and Sovereign Credit Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 124, OECD Publishing.
    5. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from the U.S. States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1046-1059, November.
    6. International Monetary Fund, 1998. "The Relative Importance of Political and Economic Variables in Creditworthiness Ratings," IMF Working Papers 1998/046, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 391-435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. International Monetary Fund, 1996. "The Economic Content of Indicators of Developing Country Creditworthiness," IMF Working Papers 1996/009, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Nadeem Ul Haque & Manmohan S. Kumar & Nelson Mark & Donald J. Mathieson, 1996. "The Economic Content of Indicators of Developing Country Creditworthiness," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(4), pages 688-724, December.
    10. Jean-Claude Cosset & Jean Roy, 1991. "The Determinants of Country Risk Ratings," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 22(1), pages 135-142, March.
    11. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
    12. Holzmann, Robert & Palacios, Robert & Zviniene, Asta, 2004. "Implicit pension debt: issues, measurement and scope in international perspective," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 30153, The World Bank.
    13. Lee, Suk Hun, 1993. "Are the credit ratings assigned by bankers based on the willingness of LDC borrowers to repay?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 349-359, April.
    14. Mr. Luis Catão & Mr. Bennett W Sutton, 2002. "Sovereign Defaults: The Role of Volatility," IMF Working Papers 2002/149, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Edwards, Sebastian, 1984. "LDC Foreign Borrowing and Default Risk: An Empirical Investigation, 1976-80," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 726-734, September.
    16. Robert Holzmann & Robert Palacios & Asta Zviniene, 2001. "On the Economics and Scope of Implicit Pension Debt: An International Perspective," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 97-129, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Peter Rowland, 2004. "The Colombian Sovereign Spread and its Determinants," Borradores de Economia 315, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Peter Rowland & José Luis Torres Trespalacios, 2004. "Determinants Of Spread And Creditworthiness For Emerging Market Sovereign Debt: A Panel Data Study," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002337, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    3. Aivazian, Sergey & Golovan, Sergey & Karminsky, Alexander & Peresetsky, Anatoly, 2011. "An approach to ratings mapping," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 23(3), pages 13-40.
    4. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide & Gomes, Pedro, 2012. "Sovereign credit ratings and financial markets linkages: Application to European data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 606-638.
    5. Peter Rowland, 2004. "The Colombian Sovereign Spread And Its Determinants," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003572, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    6. Peter Rowland, 2004. "Determinants of Spread and Credit Ratings and Creditworthiness for Emerging Market Sovereign Debt: A Follow-Up Study Using Pooled Data Analysis," Borradores de Economia 296, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    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. Peter Rowland, 2004. "Determinants Of Spread , Credit Rating And Creditworthiness For Emerging Market Sovereign Debt: A Panel Data Study," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002336, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    9. Peter Rowland, 2005. "Buyback of Colombian Sovereign Debt," Borradores de Economia 331, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    10. Bussière, M. & Ristiniemi, A., 2012. "Credit Ratings and Debt Crises," Working papers 396, Banque de France.
    11. Laura Jaramillo, 2010. "Determinants of Investment Grade Status in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 2010/117, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Mr. Amine Mati & Mr. Emanuele Baldacci & Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, 2008. "Is it (Still) Mostly Fiscal? Determinants of Sovereign Spreads in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 2008/259, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Asta Klimaviciene, 2011. "Sovereign Credit Rating Announcements and Baltic Stock Markets," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 2(1).
    14. D. Maltritz & A. Bühn & S. Eichler, 2012. "Modelling country default risk as a latent variable: a multiple indicators multiple causes approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(36), pages 4679-4688, December.
    15. Volkova, Olga (Волкова, Ольга) & Lvova, Irina (Львова, Ирина), 2016. "The bank's rating, the rating agencies, Basel II of, financial indicator, the econometric model [Влияние Финансовых Показателей На Международные Рейтинги Российских Банков]," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 177-195, February.
    16. Afonso, Antonio & Strauch, Rolf, 2007. "Fiscal policy events and interest rate swap spreads: Evidence from the EU," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 261-276, July.
    17. Abdulkerim Karaaslan & Kürşat Özgür Özden, 2017. "Forecasting Turkey’s Credit Ratings with Multivariate Grey Model and Grey Relational Analysis," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 15(3), pages 583-610, September.
    18. Peter Rowland, 2005. "Buyback Of Colombian Sovereign Debt," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002073, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    19. Osama M. Badr & Ahmed F. El-khadrawi, 2016. "Macroeconomic Variables, Government Effectiveness and Sovereign Credit Rating: A Case of Egypt," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 29-36, November.
    20. Alexander M. Karminsky & Ella Khromova, 2016. "Modelling banks’ credit ratings of international agencies," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(3), pages 341-363, December.
    21. Miguel García-Posada & Josep M.ª Vilarrubia, 2008. "Map of the international exposure of the Spanish economy," Occasional Papers 0807, Banco de España.
    22. Dilek Teker & Aynur Pala & Oya Kent, 2013. "Determination of Sovereign Rating: Factor Based Ordered Probit Models for Panel Data Analysis Modelling Framework," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 3(1), pages 122-132.
    23. Eli M. Remolona & Michela Scatigna & Eliza Wu, 2008. "A ratings-based approach to measuring sovereign risk," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 26-39.
    24. Dominik Maltritz & Andreas Buehn & Stefan Eichler, 2011. "Modeling country default risk as a latent variable: a Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) approach," Post-Print hal-00730230, HAL.

    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. Antonio Afonso, 2003. "Understanding the determinants of sovereign debt ratings: Evidence for the two leading agencies," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 27(1), pages 56-74, March.
    2. Philipp Harms & Michael Rauber, 2004. "Foreign aid and developing countries' creditworthiness," Working Papers 04.05, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    3. Ana-Maria Fuertes & Elena Kalotychou, 2004. "Forecasting sovereign default using panel models: A comparative analysis," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 228, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. El-Shagi, Makram & von Schweinitz, Gregor, 2017. "Why they keep missing: An empirical investigation of rational inattention of rating agencies," IWH Discussion Papers 1/2017, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Manasse, Paolo & Roubini, Nouriel, 2009. ""Rules of thumb" for sovereign debt crises," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 192-205, July.
    6. Nima Mirzaei & Béla Vizvári, 2015. "A New Approach to Reconstruction of Moody’s Rating System for Countries Investment Risk Rating," Journal of Empirical Economics, Research Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 4(3), pages 167-182.
    7. Kalotychou, Elena & Staikouras, Sotiris K., 2006. "An empirical investigation of the loan concentration risk in Latin America," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 363-384, October.
    8. Luis Catão & Sandeep Kapur, 2006. "Volatility and the Debt-Intolerance Paradox," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(2), pages 1-1.
    9. Teixeira, João C.A. & Silva, Francisco J.F. & Ferreira, Manuel B.S. & Vieira, José A.C., 2018. "Sovereign credit rating determinants under financial crises," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-13.
    10. Sergio Godoy, 2005. "Emerging Market Spreads at the Turn of The Century: A Roller Coaster Sergio Godoy," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 339, Central Bank of Chile.
    11. Hammer, P.L. & Kogan, A. & Lejeune, M.A., 2006. "Modeling country risk ratings using partial orders," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 175(2), pages 836-859, December.
    12. Dailami, Mansoor & Leipziger, Danny, 1998. "Infrastructure Project Finance and Capital Flows: A New Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 1283-1298, July.
    13. Morales, Jorge & Tuesta, Pedro, 1998. "Calificaciones de crédito y riesgo país," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 3.
    14. Zeaiter, Hussein & El-Khalil, Raed, 2016. "Extreme bounds of sovereign defaults: Evidence from the MENA region," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 391-410.
    15. Easton, Stephen T. & Rockerbie, Duane W., 1999. "What's in a default? Lending to LDCs in the face of default risk," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 319-332, April.
    16. Narjess Boubakri & Jean-Claude Cosset & Houcem Smaoui, 2011. "Political Institutions and Sovereign Credit Spreads," Working Papers 647, Economic Research Forum, revised 12 Jan 2011.
    17. Paolo Manasse & Mr. Axel Schimmelpfennig & Nouriel Roubini, 2003. "Predicting Sovereign Debt Crises," IMF Working Papers 2003/221, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Chakrabarti, Avik & Zeaiter, Hussein, 2014. "The determinants of sovereign default: A sensitivity analysis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 300-318.
    19. Laura Alfaro & Fabio Kanczuk, 2006. "Sovereign Debt: Indexation and Maturity," Research Department Publications 4459, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    20. Pukthuanthong-Le, Kuntara & Elayan, Fayez A. & Rose, Lawrence C., 2007. "Equity and debt market responses to sovereign credit ratings announcement," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-83.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit ratings; sovereign debt;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

    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:ise:isegwp:wp22002. 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://aquila.iseg.ulisboa.pt/aquila/departamentos/EC .

    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: Vitor Escaria (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://aquila.iseg.ulisboa.pt/aquila/departamentos/EC .

    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.