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The Real Impact of Ratings-based Capital Rules on the Finance-Growth Nexus

We investigate whether ratings-based capital regulation has affected the finance-growth nexus via a foreign credit channel. Using quarterly data on short to medium term real GDP growth and cross-border bank lending flows from G-10 countries to 67 recipient countries, we find that since the implementation of Basel 2 capital rules, risk weight reductions mapped to sovereign credit rating upgrades have stimulated short-term economic growth in investment grade recipients but hampered growth in non-investment grade recipients. The impact of these rating upgrades is strongest in the first year and then reverses from the third year and onwards. On the other hand, there is a consistent and lasting negative impact of risk weight increases due to rating downgrades across all recipient countries. The adverse effects of ratings-based capital regulation on foreign bank credit supply and economic growth are compounded in countries with more corruption and less competitive banking sectors and are attenuated with greater political stability.

15. January 2021

Authors Iftekhar Hasan Gazi Hassan Suk-Joong Kim Eliza Wu

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Professor Iftekhar Hasan, PhD
Professor Iftekhar Hasan, PhD
Economist

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