Economics Professor Presented Debt Ratings Research

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dr. Daniel Fischmar, Westminster College professor of economics and business, presented a paper at the Western Economics Association meetings July 3 in San Diego.

Fischmar's presentation, "Predicting Sovereign Debt Ratings in Recent Years," attempted to predict the sovereign debt ratings assigned by bond rating companies, using publicly available data from 2009.  The paper's model, which included variables such as government balance, external debt, gross domestic product growth, and inflation, was able to account for 66 percent of the variation in ratings assigned by Moody's.

"In particular, the model was able to forecast the credit market's current doubts about ratings for the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain," Fischmar said.

Fischmar, who joined the faculty in 1975, earned undergraduate and master's degrees from Roosevelt University and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. 

Contact Fischmar at (724) 946-7162 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster is a top tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 38th among liberal arts colleges, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Dr. Daniel Fischmar