On the duration of sovereign ratings cycle phases

Luca Agnello, Ricardo M. Sousa, Vítor Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Using long-term sovereign ratings data for a panel of 130 countries over the last three decades, we investigate the duration and determinants of sovereign rating phases through the lens of discrete-time Weibull models. We find that the likelihood of the end of the ‘speculative-grade’ phase increases as time goes by (i.e. there is positive duration depen- dence), but the ‘investment-grade’ phase is not duration dependent. Thus, for sovereigns rated as speculative, the build-up of reputation as good borrowers is a gradual process, whereas the reputation of investment-grade sovereigns solidifies and remains unchanged as time passes. However, the length of both phases significantly depends on the country’s economic conditions. In particular, lower inflation, stronger growth and sounder fiscal poli- cies shorten (prolong) the speculative- (investment-) grade phase. In addition, better gov- ernance quality helps to reduce the duration of speculative-grade phases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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