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Margins of International Banking: Is there a Productivity Pecking Order in Banking, too?

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  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Cathérine Tahmee Koch
  • Michael Kötter

Abstract

Modern trade theory emphasizes firm-level productivity differentials to explain the cross-border activities of non-financial firms. This study tests whether a productivity pecking order also determines international banking activities. Using a novel dataset that contains all German banks’ international activities, we estimate the ordered probability of a presence abroad (extensive margin) and the volume of international assets (intensive margin). Methodologically, we enrich the conventional Heckman selection model to account for the self-selection of banks into different modes of foreign activities using an ordered probit. Four main findings emerge. First, similar to results for non-financial firms, a productivity pecking order drives bank internationalization. Second, only a few non-financial firms engage in international trade, but many banks hold international assets, and only a few large banks engage in foreign direct investment. Third, in addition to productivity, risk factors matter for international banking. Fourth, gravity-type variables have an important impact on international banking activities.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2891.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2891

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Cited by:
  1. Frey, Rainer & Düwel, Cornelia, 2013. "Competition between foreign affiliates: Multinational banks internal funding in the crisis," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80013, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Düwel, Cornelia & Frey, Rainer & Lipponer, Alexander, 2011. "Cross-border bank lending, risk aversion and the financial crisis," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,29, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Niepmann, Friederike, 2013. "Banking across borders," Discussion Papers 19/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Christian Wildmann, 2011. "What drives portfolio investments of German banks in emerging capital markets?," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 197-231, June.
  5. Düwel, Cornelia & Frey, Rainer, 2012. "Competition for internal funds within multinational banks: Foreign affiliate lending in the crisis," Discussion Papers 19/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Tomas Adam & Sona Benecka & Ivo Jansky, 2012. "Time-Varying Betas of Banking Sectors," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 62(6), pages 485-504, December.
  7. Buch, Claudia M. & Koch, Cathérine Tahmee & Koetter, Michael, 2011. "Crises, rescues, and policy transmission through international banks," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,15, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  8. Friederike Niepmann, 2013. "Banking across borders with heterogeneous banks," Staff Reports 609, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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