Credit Rating Agencies and the IPE: Not as influential as thought?

Soudis, D., 29-Aug-2015, In : Review of International Political Economy. 22, 4, p. 813-837 25 p.

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Do Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) affect national policy? This study critically examines assertions of a possible convergence to neo-liberal standards induced by sovereign bond ratings. By arguing that the role of the agencies in the global political economy has been exaggerated, the study finds that CRAs do not have a direct causal effect on domestic economic reforms. Employing a sample that covers the great majority of rated countries, it is shown that there is a robust trend towards deregulation and reform in accordance with neo-liberal standards. Nevertheless, sovereign bond ratings are not directly related to this process. Lower rated countries, or those more frequently downgraded, do not differ significantly from the highly rated countries in their pattern of policy reform. This result holds for policy domains such as regulation of credit, labour and business, inflation levels, legal structure and security of property rights, and the size of the public sector. It is concluded that the role of the CRAs as potential instigators of domestic reform is limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-837
Number of pages25
JournalReview of International Political Economy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29-Aug-2015

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