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The Home Bias in Sovereign Ratings

Andreas Fuchs () and Kai Gehring

No 552, Working Papers from University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics

Abstract: Credit rating agencies are frequently criticized for producing sovereign ratings that do not accurately reflect the economic and political fundamentals of rated countries. This article discusses how the home country of rating agencies could affect rating decisions as a result of political economy influences and culture. Using data from nine agencies based in six countries, we investigate empirically if there is systematic evidence for a home bias in sovereign ratings. Specifically, we use dyadic panel data to test whether, all else being equal, agencies assign better ratings to their home countries, as well as to countries economically, politically and culturally aligned with them. While most of the variation in ratings is explained by the fundamentals of rated countries, our results provide empirical support for the existence of a home bias in sovereign ratings. We find that the bias becomes more accentuated following the onset of the Global Financial Crisis and appears to be driven by economic and cultural ties, not geopolitics.

Keywords: Sovereign debt ratings; credit rating agencies; home bias; international finance; cultural distance; bank exposure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-12-23
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fmk
Note: This paper is part of http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/volltextserver/view/schriftenreihen/sr-3.html
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8)

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Related works:
Journal Article: The Home Bias in Sovereign Ratings (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Home Bias in Sovereign Ratings (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Home Bias in Sovereign Ratings (2014) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:awi:wpaper:0552

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