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.