Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Who Should Pay for Credit Ratings and How?

55 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2013 Last revised: 21 Aug 2015

Anil K. Kashyap

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Natalia Kovrijnykh

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2015

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 unobservable effort exerted by a credit rating agency (CRA). We analyze optimal compensation schemes for the CRA that differ depending on whether a social planner, the firm, or investors order 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.

Keywords: Rating Agencies, Optimal Contracts, Moral Hazard, Information Acquisition

JEL Classification: D82, D83, D86, G24

Suggested Citation

Kashyap, Anil K. and Kovrijnykh, Natalia, Who Should Pay for Credit Ratings and How? (August 2015). Fama-Miller Working Paper ; Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 13-38. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2239724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2239724

Anil K. Kashyap (Contact Author)

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-7260 (Phone)
773 702-0458 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
773-702-7260 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

Natalia Kovrijnykh

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3806
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.public.asu.edu/~nkovrijn

Paper statistics

Downloads
230
Rank
110,587
Abstract Views
1,096