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The Determinants of Efficiency and Solvency in Savings and Loans


  • Benjamin E. Hermalin
  • Nancy E. Wallace


We study the efficiency and solvency of savings and loans institutions (thrifts). Thrifts that were inefficient (according to a nonparametric measure) were 4 1/2 times more likely than efficient thrifts to fail in the future. We also find that absent controls for lines of business pursued, stock institutions were both less efficient and more likely to fail than mutuals. With controls, these results are reversed. A consistent explanation is that stock institutions are better at resolving the standard agency conflict between owners and managers, but worse at resolving the "asset-substitution" conflict between shareholders and debtholders (depositors). Last, we find that some lines of business deregulated by the Garn-St. Germain Act adversely affected efficiency and solvency.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin E. Hermalin & Nancy E. Wallace, 1994. "The Determinants of Efficiency and Solvency in Savings and Loans," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 361-381, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:25:y:1994:i:autumn:p:361-381

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mikko MAKINEN & Derek C. JONES, 2015. "Comparative Efficiency Between Cooperative, Savings And Commercial Banks In Europe Using The Frontier Approach," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(3), pages 401-420, September.
    2. Paula A. Tkac, 2004. "Mutual funds: temporary problem or permanent morass?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 4, pages 1-21.
    3. A. Cole, Rebel & Mehran, Hamid, 1998. "The effect of changes in ownership structure on performance: Evidence from the thrift industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 291-317, December.
    4. J. David Cummins & Mary A. Weiss, 1998. "Analyzing Firm Performance in the Insurance Industry Using Frontier Efficiency Methods," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-22, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Goodhue, Rachael E. & Rausser, Gordon C. & Simon, Leo K., 1998. "Understanding Production Contracts: Testing An Agency Theory Model," 1998 Annual meeting, August 2-5, Salt Lake City, UT 20946, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. Mohamed Ariff & Luc Can, 2009. "IMF Bank-Restructuring Efficiency Outcomes: Evidence from East Asia," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 167-187, April.
    7. Benjamin Hermalin & Andrew K. Rose & Peter M. Garber & Andrew Crockett & David W. Mullins, Jr, 1999. "Risks to Lenders and Borrowers in International Capital Markets," NBER Chapters,in: International Capital Flows, pages 363-420 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Daniel W. Elfenbein & Anne Marie Knott, 2015. "Time to exit: Rational, behavioral, and organizational delays," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(7), pages 957-975, July.
    9. Zuzana Iršová & Tomáš Havránek, 2010. "Measuring Bank Efficiency: A Meta-Regression Analysis," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(4), pages 307-328.
    10. Styrin Konstantin, 2005. "X-inefficiency, Moral Hazard, and Bank Failures," EERC Working Paper Series 01-258e-2, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    11. Lucio Masserini & Matilde Bini & Monica Pratesi, 2017. "Effectiveness of non-selective evaluation test scores for predicting first-year performance in university career: a zero-inflated beta regression approach," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 693-708, March.
    12. Anne Marie Knott & Hart E. Posen & Brian Wu, 2009. "Spillover Asymmetry and Why It Matters," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(3), pages 373-388, March.
    13. Patricia Born & William M. Gentry & W. Kip Viscusi & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1998. "Organizational Form and Insurance Company Performance: Stocks versus Mutuals," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Property-Casualty Insurance, pages 167-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Styrin Konstantin, 2005. "What Explains Differences in Efficiency Across Russian Banks?," EERC Working Paper Series 01-258e-1, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    15. Brian Wu & Anne Marie Knott, 2006. "Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1315-1330, September.

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