NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815-2007

Marc Flandreau, Juan H. Flores, Norbert Gaillard, Sebastián Nieto-Parra

NBER Working Paper No. 15128
Issued in July 2009
NBER Program(s):   IFM

We provide a comparison of salient organizational features of primary markets for foreign government debt over the very long run. We focus on output, quality control, information provision, competition, pricing, charging, and signaling. We find that the market setup experienced a radical transformation in the recent period, and we interpret this as resulting from the rise of liability insurance provided by rating agencies. Underwriters have given up their former role as gatekeepers of liquidity and certification agencies to become aggressive competitors in a new Speculative Grade market.

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This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15128

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