Document Type

Department Honors Thesis

Publication Date


First Advisor

Olena Staveley-O'Carroll


This paper examines the relationship between sovereign credit ratings and international capital flows to emerging market economies (EMEs). More specifically, it analyzes how ratings impact capital flows (FDI and portfolio investment) before and after the 2007-2008 financial crisis. This study breaks the data into two samples, pre-crisis (1995-2006), and the post crisis (2007-2015). After using a System GMM method for 20 EMEs, the paper compares the pre- and post- financial crisis credit rating coefficients. The results indicate that the ratings have become more impactful overtime, for both FDI and portfolio investment, although the coefficients are not statistically different. Interestingly however, the coefficients for FDI grew much larger than portfolio investment, indicating bond investors may have become more reluctant to trust sovereign credit ratings after the financial crisis.