The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This study examines the relative importance of political and economic variables in the determination of a country’s standing in credit ratings provided by commercial rating agencies. It finds that creditworthiness appears to be determined primarily by economic variables. While including political events can improve the explanatory power of the regressions, the exclusion of political variables does not bias the parameter estimates for the effects of economic variables.