External Credit Ratings and Bank Lending
39 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2017 Last revised: 30 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 28, 2018
We study how third-party rating information influences firms' access to bank financing and real outcomes. We exploit a refinement in the rating scale that occurred in France in 2004. The new rules made some firms within each rating class receive a positive rating surprise. We find that such firms enjoy greater and cheaper access to bank credit. In particular, they obtain more credit from previously less informed lenders, and start new bank relationships more easily. Consequently, they rely on equity to a lower extent and invest more. These findings suggest that credit ratings help reducing the hold-up problem and increase competition among banks.
Keywords: Credit Ratings, Banks, Lending Technology, Corporate Financing, Real Effects, Hold-up problem
JEL Classification: G21, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation