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Foreign Banks in Poor Countries: Theory and Evidence

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  • ENRICA DETRAGIACHE
  • THIERRY TRESSEL
  • POONAM GUPTA

Abstract

We study how foreign bank penetration affects financial sector development in poor countries. A theoretical model shows that when domestic banks are better than foreign banks at monitoring soft information customers, foreign bank entry may hurt these customers and worsen welfare. The model also predicts that credit to the private sector should be lower in countries with more foreign bank penetration, and that foreign banks should have a less risky loan portfolio. In the empirical section, we test these predictions for a sample of lower income countries and find support for the theoretical model.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrica Detragiache & Thierry Tressel & Poonam Gupta, 2008. "Foreign Banks in Poor Countries: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2123-2160, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:63:y:2008:i:5:p:2123-2160
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2008.01392.x
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    1. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Alejandro Micco & Ugo Panizza, 2004. "Should the Government Be in the Banking Business? The Role of State-Owned and Development Banks," Research Department Publications 4379, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
    3. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Alejandro Micco & Ugo Panizza, 2004. "Should the Government Be in the Banking Business? The Role of State-Owned and Development Banks," Research Department Publications 4379, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Giannetti, Mariassunta & Ongena, Steven, 2005. "Financial Integration and Entrepreneurial Activity: Evidence from Foreign Bank Entry in Emerging Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5151, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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