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Partial privatization and bank performance: evidence from India

  • Subrata Sarkar
  • Rudra Sensarma

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of partial privatization on performance of state-owned banks using data from the Indian banking industry during the period 1986-2003, and test the hypothesis that privatization leads to improvement in performance even when the government retains controlling stakes. Design/methodology/approach – Employing the technique of stochastic frontier analysis, bank-specific estimates of total factor productivity were obtained, because they can be considered as a measure of performance, along with four accounting measures. Panel regression models were employed to assess the impact of partial privatization on these performance indicators. Findings – Partial privatization was found to result in significant improvement in performance of state-owned banks. This finding is robust to alternative model specifications and different techniques for controlling potential selection bias. Research limitations/implications – The paper focuses on the impact of partial privatization on operational and financial performance of banks. Future work could consider the effects on other aspects such as wages and financial development. Practical implications – The results suggest that faced with political opposition to full privatization, even if the government does not relinquish control, the exposure to market discipline through partial privatization may be an effective way of improving performance of state-owned banks. Originality/value – This is the first work to examine the effects of partial privatization in the context of Indian banks and one of the very few to study this issue for any banking industry.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Financial Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 276-306

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Handle: RePEc:eme:jfeppp:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:276-306
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  1. Sarkar, Jayati & Sarkar, Subrata & Bhaumik, Sumon K., 1998. "Does Ownership Always Matter?--Evidence from the Indian Banking Industry," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 262-281, June.
  2. Bhaumik, Sumon Kumar & Dimova, Ralitza, 2004. "How important is ownership in a market with level playing field?: The Indian banking sector revisited," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 165-180, March.
  3. Chen, Zhian & Li, Donghui & Moshirian, Fariborz, 2005. "China's financial services industry: The intra-industry effects of privatization of the Bank of China Hong Kong," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 2291-2324, August.
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  6. Nakane, Marcio I. & Weintraub, Daniela B., 2005. "Bank privatization and productivity : evidence for Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3666, The World Bank.
  7. Sensarma, Rudra, 2006. "Are foreign banks always the best? Comparison of state-owned, private and foreign banks in India," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 717-735, July.
  8. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1741, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  10. Nakane, Marcio I. & Weintraub, Daniela B., 2005. "Bank privatization and productivity: Evidence for Brazil," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 2259-2289, August.
  11. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
  12. Vining, Aidan R & Boardman, Anthony E, 1992. " Ownership versus Competition: Efficiency in Public Enterprise," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 205-39, March.
  13. Beck, Thorsten & Cull, Robert & Jerome, Afeikhena, 2005. "Bank privatization and performance - emprical evidence from Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3511, The World Bank.
  14. Nandini Gupta, 2005. "Partial Privatization and Firm Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 987-1015, 04.
  15. Berg, Sigbjorn Atle & Forsund, Finn R. & Hjalmarsson, Lennart & Suominen, Matti, 1993. "Banking efficiency in the Nordic countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 371-388, April.
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