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Who Should Pay for Credit Ratings and How?

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  • Anil K. Kashyap
  • Natalia Kovrijnykh

Abstract

We analyze a model where investors use a credit rating to decide whether to finance a firm. The rating quality depends on unobservable effort exerted by a credit rating agency (CRA). We study optimal compensation schemes for the CRA when a planner, the firm, or investors order the rating. Rating errors are larger when the firm orders it than when investors do (and both produce larger errors than is socially optimal). Investors overuse ratings relative to the firm or planner. A trade-off in providing time-consistent incentives embedded in the optimal compensation structure makes the CRA slow to acknowledge mistakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Anil K. Kashyap & Natalia Kovrijnykh, 2013. "Who Should Pay for Credit Ratings and How?," NBER Working Papers 18923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18923
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2013. "Ratings quality over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 62-78.
    2. Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Eloïc Peyrache & Lucía Quesada, 2009. "The ownership of ratings," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 234-257.
    3. Skreta, Vasiliki & Veldkamp, Laura, 2009. "Ratings shopping and asset complexity: A theory of ratings inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 678-695, July.
    4. Yeon-Koo Che & Seung-Weon Yoo, 2001. "Optimal Incentives for Teams," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 525-541, June.
    5. Strausz, Roland, 2005. "Honest certification and the threat of capture," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 45-62, February.
    6. Mathis, Jérôme & McAndrews, James & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2009. "Rating the raters: Are reputation concerns powerful enough to discipline rating agencies?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 657-674, July.
    7. Jiang, John (Xuefeng) & Harris Stanford, Mary & Xie, Yuan, 2012. "Does it matter who pays for bond ratings? Historical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 607-621.
    8. Paolo Fulghieri & Günter Strobl & Han Xia, 2014. "The Economics of Solicited and Unsolicited Credit Ratings," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(2), pages 484-518.
    9. Donald P. Morgan, 2002. "Rating Banks: Risk and Uncertainty in an Opaque Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 874-888, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:riibaf:v:44:y:2018:i:c:p:471-479 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fischer, Thomas, 2015. "Market structure and rating strategies in credit rating markets – A dynamic model with matching of heterogeneous bond issuers and rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 39-56.
    3. Yun Wang & Yilan Xu, 2015. "Race to the Top: Credit Rating Bias from Competition," Working Papers 2015-05-12, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University, revised 13 May 2015.
    4. repec:eee:jetheo:v:173:y:2018:i:c:p:289-319 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Joshua Aizenman & Mahir Binici & Michael Hutchison, 2013. "Credit ratings and the pricing of sovereign debt during the euro crisis," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 582-609, AUTUMN.
    6. Bongaerts, Dion, 2014. "Alternatives for issuer-paid credit rating agencies," Working Paper Series 1703, European Central Bank.
    7. Lawrence J. White, 2013. "Credit Rating Agencies: An Overview," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 93-122, November.
    8. repec:oup:revfin:v:21:y:2017:i:2:p:465-509. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bouvard, Matthieu & Levy, Raphael, 2013. "Two-sided reputation in certification markets," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 446, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    10. Mahir Binici & Michael M Hutchison & Evan Weicheng Miao, 2018. "Are credit rating agencies discredited? Measuring market price effects from agency sovereign debt announcements," BIS Working Papers 704, Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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