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.
Emerging market countries seek investment grade status to lower financing costs for the sovereign, expand the pool of potential investors to institutional investors, and allow corporates the possibility of reducing their borrowing costs. Using a random effects binomial logit model on a sample of 48 emerging markets, the paper finds that, to a large extent, investment grade rating assignments can be explained by a handful of variables. The results also suggest that efforts by emerging markets to increase the likelihood of an upgrade should focus on debt indicators rather than the other key determinants of investment grade status.