Journal article

Credit Ratings and CEO Risk-Taking Incentives

Yu Flora Kuang, Bo Qin

CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTING RESEARCH | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2013

Abstract

This study examines the sophistication of rating agencies in incorporating managerial risk-taking incentives into their credit risk evaluation. We measure risk-taking incentives using two proxies: the sensitivity of managerial wealth to stock return volatility (vega) and the sensitivity of managerial wealth to stock price (delta). We find that rating agencies impound managerial risk-taking incentives in their credit risk assessments. Assuming other things equal, a one standard deviation increase in vega (delta) will lead to an approximately one-notch (two-notch) rating downgrade. In addition, we evaluate the significance of credit ratings in the design of CEO compensation. Our findings sugge..

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