How Did Increased Competition Affect Credit Ratings?
Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Todd T. Milbourn
Washington University in Saint Louis - John M. Olin Business School
NBER Working Paper No. w16404
The credit rating industry has historically been dominated by just two agencies, Moody’s and S&P, leading to longstanding legislative and regulatory calls for increased competition. The material entry of a third rating agency (Fitch) to the competitive landscape offers a unique experiment to empirically examine how in fact increased competition affects the credit ratings market. Increased competition from Fitch coincides with lower quality ratings from the incumbents: rating levels went up, the correlation between ratings and market-implied yields fell, and the ability of ratings to predict default deteriorated. We offer several possible explanations for these findings that are linked to existing theories.
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Number of Pages in PDF File: 49working papers series
Date posted: October 4, 2010
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