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

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  • 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
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Aivazian, Sergey & Golovan, Sergey & Karminsky, Alexander & Peresetsky, Anatoly, 2011. "An approach to ratings mapping," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 23(3), pages 13-40.
    3. 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, pages 606-638.
    4. Peter Rowland, 2004. "The Colombian Sovereign Spread And Its Determinants," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003572, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Peter Rowland, 2005. "Buyback of Colombian Sovereign Debt," Borradores de Economia 331, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    9. Bussière, M. & Ristiniemi, A., 2012. "Credit Ratings and Debt Crises," Working papers 396, Banque de France.
    10. Asta KlimaviÄ ienÄ—, 2011. "Sovereign Credit Rating Announcements and Baltic Stock Markets," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 2(1).
    11. Volkova, Olga & Lvova, Irina, 2016. "Effect of financial indicators on international ratings of russian banks," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 177-195, February.
    12. 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.
    13. Peter Rowland, 2005. "Buyback Of Colombian Sovereign Debt," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002073, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    14. 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.
    15. Laura Jaramillo, 2010. "Determinants of Investment Grade Status in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 10/117, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Sanjeev Gupta & Amine Mati & Emanuele Baldacci, 2008. "Is it (Still) Mostly Fiscal? Determinants of Sovereign Spreads in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 08/259, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Miguel García-Posada & Josep M.ª Vilarrubia, 2008. "Map of the international exposure of the Spanish economy," Occasional Papers 0807, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.

    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

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