Why They Keep Missing: An Empirical Investigation of Sovereign Bond Ratings and Their Timing
Scottish Journal of Political Economy,
Two contradictory strands of the rating literature criticize that rating agencies merely follow the market on the one hand, and emphasizing that rating changes affect capital movements on the other hand. Both focus on explaining rating levels rather than the timing of rating announcements. Contrarily, we explicitly differentiate between a decision to assess a country and the actual rating decision. We show that this differentiation significantly improves the estimation of the rating function. The three major rating agencies treat economic fundamentals similarly, while differing in their response to other factors such as strategic considerations. This reconciles the conflicting literature.
The Effects of Sovereign Risk: A High Frequency Identification Based on News Ticker Data
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper uses novel news ticker data to evaluate the effect of sovereign risk on economic and financial outcomes. The use of intraday news enables me to derive policy events and respective timestamps that potentially alter investors’ beliefs about a sovereign’s willingness to service its debt and thereby sovereign risk. Following the high frequency identification literature, in the tradition of Kuttner (2001) and Guerkaynak et al. (2005), associated variation in sovereign risk is then obtained by capturing bond price movements within narrowly defined time windows around the event time. I conduct the outlined identification for Italy since its large bond market and its frequent coverage in the news render it a suitable candidate country. Using the identified shocks in an instrumental variable local projection setting yields a strong instrument and robust results in line with theoretical predictions. I document a dampening effect of sovereign risk on output. Also, borrowing costs for the private sector increase and inflation rises in response to higher sovereign risk.
The Real Impact of Ratings-based Capital Rules on the Finance-Growth Nexus
International Review of Financial Analysis,
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.
Sovereign Default Risk, Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Monetary-Fiscal Stabilisation
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper examines the role of sovereign default beliefs for macroeconomic fluctuations and stabilisation policy in a small open economy where fiscal solvency is a critical problem. We set up and estimate a DSGE model on Turkish data and show that accounting for sovereign risk significantly improves the fit of the model through an endogenous amplication between default beliefs, exchange rate and inflation movements. We then use the estimated model to study the implications of sovereign risk for stability, fiscal and monetary policy, and their interaction. We find that a relatively strong fiscal feedback from deficits to taxes, some exchange rate targeting, or a monetary response to default premia are more effective and efficient stabilisation tools than hawkish inflation targeting.