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Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanisms

  • Arnoud W. A. Boot

    ()

  • Todd T. Milbourn

    ()

In this paper, we provide a novel rationale for credit ratings. The rationale that we propose is that credit ratings can serve as a coordinating mechanism in situations where multiple equilibria can obtain. We show that credit ratings provide a "focal point" for firms and their investors. We explore the vital, but previously overlooked implicit contractual relationship between a credit rating agency and a firm. Credit ratings can help fix the desired equilibrium and as such play an economically meaningful role. Our model provides several empirical predictions and insights regarding the expected price impact of ratings changes, the discreteness in funding cost changes, and the effect of the focus of organizations on the efficacy of credit ratings.

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File URL: http://www.wdi.umich.edu/files/Publications/WorkingPapers/wp457.pdf
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Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 457.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 15 Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-457
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  1. Pamela Nickell & William Perraudin & Simone Varotto, 2001. "Ratings versus equity-based credit risk modelling: an empirical analysis," Bank of England working papers 132, Bank of England.
  2. Marco Da Rin & Thomas Hellmann, . "Banks as Catalysts for Industrialization," Working Papers 103, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Doron Kliger & Oded Sarig, 2000. "The Information Value of Bond Ratings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2879-2902, December.
  4. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Louis H. Ederington & Jess B. Yawitz & Brian E. Roberts, 1984. "The Informational Content of Bond Ratings," NBER Working Papers 1323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Douglas Gale, 1992. "Informational Capacity and Financial Collapse," Papers 0038, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  7. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
  8. Hand, John R M & Holthausen, Robert W & Leftwich, Richard W, 1992. " The Effect of Bond Rating Agency Announcements on Bond and Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 733-52, June.
  9. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1998. "Capital budgeting and delegation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 259-289, December.
  10. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  11. Mark Carey & Mark Hrycay, 2000. "Parameterizing credit risk models with rating data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-47, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Cantor, Richard & Packer, Frank, 1997. "Differences of opinion and selection bias in the credit rating industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1395-1417, October.
  13. Allen, Franklin, 1990. "The market for information and the origin of financial intermediation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-30, March.
  14. Ederington, Louis H. & Goh, Jeremy C., 1998. "Bond Rating Agencies and Stock Analysts: Who Knows What When?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 569-585, December.
  15. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
  16. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
  17. Spatt, Chester & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1991. "Preplay Communication, Participation Restrictions, and Efficiency in Initial Public Offerings," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(4), pages 709-26.
  18. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
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