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Where Is Credit Due? Legal Institutions, Connections, and the Efficiency of Bank Lending in Vietnam

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  • Markus Taussig

Abstract

Rapid development of the domestic private sector in communist China and Vietnam has been offered as evidence against a large literature that claims a solid legal infrastructure is required for the financial sector to contribute to economic development. One component of the counterargument holds that relationship-based lending has served as an effective substitute for legal institutions. In this article, we challenge this assertion with empirical findings that show bank credit allocation that relies heavily on "connections" undermines the impact of finance on investment growth. Our data come from Vietnam, where--like China--the private sector and financial sector are expanding dramatically but rule of law has not kept pace. Although Vietnam's banking sector is in transition toward a healthier system, it still allocates a disproportionate share of credit to "connected" enterprises in less competitive regions. We find that political connections, in particular, are an ineffective tool for channeling bank credit to the most profitable investors. Using a two-stage empirical approach, we find evidence that banks place greater value on connections than performance and that the firms with greater access to bank loans are no more profitable than firms without them. By some measures, connected firms are even significantly less profitable. We conclude by demonstrating that the most profitable investors in Vietnam have forgone the formal banking system, preferring to finance their activities out of reinvested earnings or informal loans (JEL G21, G28, G30, O12, K11). The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Taussig, 2009. "Where Is Credit Due? Legal Institutions, Connections, and the Efficiency of Bank Lending in Vietnam," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 535-578, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:25:y:2009:i:2:p:535-578
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewn011
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nguyen, Nhung & Luu, Nhung, 2013. "Determinants of Financing Pattern and Access to Formal -Informal Credit: The Case of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Viet Nam," MPRA Paper 81868, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2013.
    2. Taussig, Markus, 2013. "The neglected need for strategic renewal in emerging markets: Lessons from Vietnam in transition," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 465-471.
    3. John Rand, 2017. "Are politically connected firms less constrained in credit markets?," WIDER Working Paper Series 200, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Hien Thu Tran & Enrico Santarelli, 2014. "Capital constraints and the performance of entrepreneurial firms in Vietnam," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 827-864.
    5. Jackowicz, Krzysztof & Kozłowski, Łukasz & Mielcarz, Paweł, 2014. "Political connections and operational performance of non-financial firms: New evidence from Poland," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 109-135.
    6. Phan, Diep & Coxhead, Ian, 2013. "Long-run costs of piecemeal reform: Wage inequality and returns to education in Vietnam," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1106-1122.
    7. Duranton,Gilles & Ghani,Syed Ejaz & Goswami,Arti Grover & Kerr,William Robert, 2015. "Effects of land misallocation on capital allocations in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7451, The World Bank.
    8. Nguyen, Thi Nhung & Gan, Christopher & Hu, Baiding, 2015. "An empirical analysis of credit accessibility of small and medium sized enterprises in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 81911, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    9. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:6:p:1142-1161 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Carney, Michael & Dieleman, Marleen & Taussig, Markus, 2016. "How are institutional capabilities transferred across borders?," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 882-894.
    11. Bat Batjargal, 2013. "Institutional Polycentrism, Entrepreneurs??? Social Networks, And New Venture Growth," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1060, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    12. Hasan, Iftekhar & Jackowicz, Krzysztof & Kowalewski, Oskar & Kozlowski, Lukasz, 2013. "Politically Connected Firms in Poland and Their Access to Bank Financing," Working Papers 13-37, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law

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