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Tests of Financial Intermediation and Banking Reform in China

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  • Albert Park and Kaja Sehrt
  • Albert Park and Kaja Sehrt

Abstract

We develop tests of financial intermediation by national banking systems that exploit regional financial and economic data. Derived from a model of bank profit maximization, the tests are based on the expectation that in efficient systems, financial intermediation should not be overly influenced by policy variables; should be greater where projects are more profitable and require greater financing - typically in faster growing, richer, industrial areas; and should direct funds to the best projects regardless of where deposits originate. We apply these tests to Chinese provincial data from 1991-97 for all state banks, the Agricultural Bank of China, rural credit cooperatives, and other financial institutions. China implemented a series of widely publicized financial reforms in the mid-1990s designed to improve bank performance. However, descriptive and estimation results suggest that the importance of state bank policy lending (to support SOEs and finance agricultural procurement) has increased, not fallen, during the recent period, and lending does not respond to economic fundamentals. Only the group of smaller, less-regulated financial institutions appear commercially oriented. Despite reforms, significant barriers to efficient inter-regional financial intermediation remain.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 270.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1999-270

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  1. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1996. "Financial Dependence and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1998. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 537-58, June.
  4. Shahid Yusuf, 1994. "China's Macroeconomic Performance and Management during Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 71-92, Spring.
  5. Fan, G. & Woo, W.T., 1992. "Decentralized Socialism and Macroeconomic Stability : Lessons from China," Papers 411, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  6. Loren Brandt & Xiaodong Zhu, 2000. "Redistribution in a Decentralized Economy: Growth and Inflation in China under Reform," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 422-451, April.
  7. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  8. Albert Park & Scott Rozelle, 1998. "Reforming state-market relations in rural China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 6(2), pages 461-480, November.
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