Business Economics and Public Policy Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

11-2012

Publication Source

Journal of Financial Economics

Volume

106

Issue

2

Start Page

308

Last Page

330

DOI

10.1016/j.jfineco.2012.05.012

Abstract

The paper analyzes the effect of competition between credit rating agencies (CRAs) on the information content of ratings. We show that a monopolistic CRA pools sellers into multiple rating classes and has partial market coverage. This provides an opportunity for market entry. The entrant designs a rating scale distinct from that of the incumbent. It targets higher-than-average companies in each rating grade of the incumbent's rating scale and employs more stringent rating standards. We use Standard and Poor's (S&P) entry into the market for insurance ratings previously covered by a monopolist, A.M. Best, to empirically test the impact of entry on the information content of ratings. The empirical analysis reveals that S&P required higher standards to assign a rating similar to the one assigned by A.M. Best and that higher-than-average quality insurers in each rating category of A.M. Best chose to receive a second rating from S&P.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2012. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Keywords

ratings, competition, information disclosure, insurance

Included in

Finance Commons

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.