Are private banks the better banks? An insight into the principal-agent structure and risk-taking behavior of German banks
AbstractIn this study, we propose our hypothesis that the distinguishable principal-agent relationships of German banks are significantly influencing the risk-taking attitudes of bank managers. Particularly, we intend to substantiate the theory that banks owned by dispersed shareholders or federal state authorities face a higher relevance of principal-agent problems than other banking sectors due to a missing ability to monitor bank managers. Our results underline that these problems appear to mislead bank managers showing an unreasonable risk-taking behavior. In a first stage, we rely on a theoretical model explaining that from the bank owners’ viewpoint three factors of the principal-agent relationships are determining the probability of choosing the optimal portfolio of risky assets. These factors cover the ability to control bank managers, the risk pooling capabilities of bank owners and bank managers, and the incentives of seeking high returns. To support our hypothesis we apply an empirical study to the distances-to-default of different German banking sectors. This demonstrates that risktaking attitudes of banks are closely related to banks’ ownership. Consequently, our findings offer evidence, that legislative and regulatory authorities should increase their vigilance in terms of principal-agent problems within certain sectors of the banking industry.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 236.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://leuphana.de/institute/ivwl.html
Financial crises; risk-taking behavior; risk aversion; efficient portfolios; information asymmetries and market efficiency; government policy and regulation; risk pooling; seeking for high returns; monitoring capabilities; capital and ownership structure; distance-to-default; capital asset ratio; return on assets;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
- G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
- G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2012-04-17 (Banking)
- NEP-CTA-2012-04-17 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-RMG-2012-04-17 (Risk Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2008.
"Bank Governance, Regulation, and Risk Taking,"
NBER Working Papers
14113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hirshleifer, David & Thakor, Anjan V, 1992. "Managerial Conservatism, Project Choice, and Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 437-70.
- Gerard Caprio & Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2003.
"Governance and Bank Valuation,"
NBER Working Papers
10158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pathan, Shams, 2009. "Strong boards, CEO power and bank risk-taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1340-1350, July.
- Beck, T.H.L., 2008.
"Resolution of failed banks by deposit insurers: Cross-country evidence,"
Open Access publications from Tilburg University
urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3508404, Tilburg University.
- Beck, Thorsten & Laeven, Luc, 2006. "Resolution of failed banks by deposit insurers : cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3920, The World Bank.
- Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2008.
"Liquidity and leverage,"
328, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Martin CihÃ¡k & Heiko Hesse, 2007. "Cooperative Banks and Financial Stability," IMF Working Papers 07/2, International Monetary Fund.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- Jonathan R. Macey & Maureen O'Hara, 2003. "The corporate governance of banks," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 91-107.
- Iannotta, Giuliano & Nocera, Giacomo & Sironi, Andrea, 2007. "Ownership structure, risk and performance in the European banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 2127-2149, July.
- ,, 2009. "Public Finance and Public Choice: Analytical Perspectives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780199234783.
- Saunders, Anthony & Strock, Elizabeth & Travlos, Nickolaos G, 1990. " Ownership Structure, Deregulation, and Bank Risk Taking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 643-54, June.
- Altunbas, Yener & Evans, Lynne & Molyneux, Philip, 2001. "Bank Ownership and Efficiency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(4), pages 926-54, November.
- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
- Barry, Thierno Amadou & Lepetit, Laetitia & Tarazi, Amine, 2011.
"Ownership structure and risk in publicly held and privately owned banks,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1327-1340, May.
- Thierno Amadou Barry & Laetitia Lepetit & Amine Tarazi, 2011. "Ownership Structure and Risk in Publicly Held and Privately Owned Banks," Post-Print hal-00918543, HAL.
- Thierno Amadou Barry & Laetitia Lepetit & Amine Tarazi, 2011. "Ownership structure and risk in publicly held and privately owned Banks," Post-Print hal-00785225, HAL.
- Simon H. Kwan, 2004. "Risk and return of publicly held versus privately owned banks," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 97-107.
- Berger, Allen N. & Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert & Klapper, Leora & Udell, Gregory F., 2005.
"Corporate governance and bank performance : a joint analysis of the static, selection, and dynamic effects of domestic, foreign, and state ownership,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3632, The World Bank.
- Berger, Allen N. & Clarke, George R.G. & Cull, Robert & Klapper, Leora & Udell, Gregory F., 2005. "Corporate governance and bank performance: A joint analysis of the static, selection, and dynamic effects of domestic, foreign, and state ownership," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 2179-2221, August.
- Gropp, Reint & Köhler, Matthias, 2010. "Bank owners or bank managers: who is keen on risk? Evidence from the financial crisis," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-013, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2009. "Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007-2008," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 77-100, Winter.
- John H. Boyd & Gianni De Nicolã, 2005. "The Theory of Bank Risk Taking and Competition Revisited," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1329-1343, 06.
- Iain Hardie & David Howarth, 2009. ""Die Krise" but not "La Crise"? The Financial Crisis and the Transformation of German and French Banking Systems," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 1017-1039, November.
- Fraser, Donald R. & Zardkoohi, Asghar, 1996. "Ownership structure, deregulation, and risk in the savings and loan industry," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 63-69, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Wagner).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.