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Privatization Matters: Bank Efficiency in Transition Countries

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  • Paul Wachtel
  • John Bonin
  • Iftekhar Hasan

Abstract

To investigate the impact of bank privatization in transition countries, we take the largest banks in six relatively advanced countries, namely, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Income and balance sheet characteristics are compared across four bank ownership types. Efficiency measures are computed from stochastic frontiers and used in ownership and privatization regressions having dummy variables for bank type. Our empirical results support the hypotheses that foreign-owned banks are most efficient and governmentowned banks are least efficient. In addition, the importance of attracting a strategic foreign owner in the privatization process is confirmed. However, counter to the conjecture that foreign banks cream skim, we find that domestic banks have a local advantage in pursuing fee-forservice business. Finally, we show that both the method and the timing of privatization matter to efficiency; specifically, voucher privatization does not lead to increased efficiency and earlyprivatized banks are more efficient than later-privatized banks even though we find no evidence of a selection effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 04-06.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:04-06

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Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/
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  1. Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert, 1999. "Why Privatize? The Case of Argentina's Public Provincial Banks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 865-886, May.
  2. Steven Fries & Damien Neven & Paul Seabright, 2002. "Bank Performance in Transition Economies," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 505, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, 02.
  4. Ewa M. Nikiel & Timothy P. Opiela, 2002. "Customer Type And Bank Efficiency In Poland: Implications For Emerging Market Banking," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(3), pages 255-271, 07.
  5. Allen N. Berger & Robert DeYoung & Hesna Genay & Gregory F. Udell, 1999. "Globalization of financial institutions: evidence from cross-border banking performance," Working Paper Series WP-99-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Fries, Steven & Taci, Anita, 2005. "Cost efficiency of banks in transition: Evidence from 289 banks in 15 post-communist countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 55-81, January.
  7. Bonin, John P. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Wachtel, Paul, 2005. "Bank performance, efficiency and ownership in transition countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 31-53, January.
  8. Bonin, John & Wachtel, Paul, 2004. "Dealing with financial fragility in transition economies," BOFIT Discussion Papers 22/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  9. Jennifer S. Crystal & B. Gerard Dages & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Does foreign ownership contribute to sounder banks in emerging markets? the Latin American experience," Staff Reports 137, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Claessens, Stijn & Demirguc-Kunt, Asl[iota] & Huizinga, Harry, 2001. "How does foreign entry affect domestic banking markets?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 891-911, May.
  11. Abarbanell, Jeffery S. & Bonin, John P., 1997. "Bank Privatization in Poland: The Case of Bank Slaski," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 31-61, August.
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