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Who Should Pay for Credit Ratings and How?

Author

Listed:
  • Natalia Kovrijnykh

    (Arizona State University)

  • Anil Kashyap

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

This paper analyzes a model where investors use a credit rating to decide whether to finance a firm. The rating quality depends on the credit rating agency's (CRA) effort, which is unobservable. We analyze optimal compensation contracts for the CRA that differ depending on whether the firm, investors or a social planner orders the rating. We find that rating errors are larger when the firm orders it than when investors do. However, investors ask for ratings inefficiently often. Which arrangement leads to a higher social surplus depends on the agents' prior beliefs about the project quality. We also show that competition among CRAs causes them to reduce their fees, put in less effort, and thus leads to less accurate ratings. Rating quality also tends to be lower for new securities. Finally, we find that optimal contracts that provide incentives for both initial ratings and their subsequent revisions can lead the CRA to be slow to acknowledge mistakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Kovrijnykh & Anil Kashyap, 2013. "Who Should Pay for Credit Ratings and How?," 2013 Meeting Papers 1125, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1125
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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, June.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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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 10 Jul 2015.
    4. repec:eee:jetheo:v:173:y:2018:i:c:p:289-319 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Nicolas Figueroa & CARLOS RAMIREZ & Oksana Leukhina, 2019. "Imperfect Information Transmission from Banks to Investors: Macroeconomic Implications," 2019 Meeting Papers 1105, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. 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.
    7. Bongaerts, Dion, 2014. "Alternatives for issuer-paid credit rating agencies," Working Paper Series 1703, European Central Bank.
    8. Valentina Bruno & Jess Cornaggia & Kimberly J. Cornaggia, 2016. "Does Regulatory Certification Affect the Information Content of Credit Ratings?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(6), pages 1578-1597, June.
    9. Lawrence J. White, 2013. "Credit Rating Agencies: An Overview," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 93-122, November.
    10. repec:oup:revfin:v:21:y:2017:i:2:p:465-509. is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Figueroa, Nicolás & Leukhina, Oksana & Ramirez, Carlos, 2018. "Imperfect Information Transmission from Banks to Investors: Macroeconomic Implications," Working Papers 2018-18, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 01 Jul 2019.
    12. 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.
    13. 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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