We test whether credit rating analysts consider managerial ability as a credit risk factor and find that higher-ability managers obtain more favorable credit ratings. Controlling for past performance, these results suggest that managerial ability is itself a significant credit rating factor. Cross-sectional analyses indicate that managerial ability is beneficial specifically in firms facing financial or competitive pressure. We find that high-ability managers mitigate the adverse impact on ratings of other credit risk factors including negative earnings and low interest coverage. Our results contribute to a growing literature documenting economic benefits to hiring and retaining high-quality management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics