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Privatization matters: Bank efficiency in transition countries

  • Bonin, John P.
  • Hasan, Iftekhar
  • Wachtel, Paul

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 government-owned 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-for-service 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 early-privatized banks are more efficient than later-privatized banks even though we find no evidence of a selection effect.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 29 (2005)
Issue (Month): 8-9 (August)
Pages: 2155-2178

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:29:y:2005:i:8-9:p:2155-2178
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  1. 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.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-deSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "Government Ownership of Banks," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1890, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bonin, John P. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Wachtel, Paul, 2004. "Bank performance, efficiency and ownership in transitition countries," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  7. 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.
  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. 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.
  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. repec:ebd:wpaper:76 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. 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.
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