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Who Should Pay for Credit Ratings and How?

  • Anil K Kashyap
  • Natalia Kovrijnykh

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18923.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18923
Note: CF
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  1. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2010. "Ratings Quality over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8156, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Peyrache, Eloïc & Quesada, Lucía, 2005. "The Ownership of Ratings," CEPR Discussion Papers 5432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Che,Y.K. & Yoo,S.W., 1998. "Optimal incentives for teams," Working papers 8, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. 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.
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