IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The effect of financial liberalization on banking sector stability


  • Mekki Hamdaoui
  • Abir Zouari
  • Samir Maktouf


Several studies indicate that financial liberalization increases likelihood of a financial crisis without distinguishing between a normal period, unstable period preceding the onset of banking panics and crisis/post period. We explain in this paper the relationship between financial liberalization and banking sector vulnerability. Then, we argue that banking sector turmoil is most likely to occur after an intermediate degree of liberalization. Using a recently updated dataset for financial reforms, we find an inverted U-shaped relationship between liberalization and the likelihood of banking crisis for a sample of 49 countries between 1980 and 2010. We used a multinomial logit model in order to take into account what is called the ‘post crisis bias’. We ask whether the relationship remains when institutional characteristics of countries and dynamic effects of liberalization are considered. The empirical results indicate that the relationship between liberalization and banking sector stability depends strongly on the strength of capital regulation and supervision. With very weak regulation and supervision, the probability of banking crises is increasing with liberalization but this relationship is reversed as regulation and supervision become significant. The most important type of liberalization in relation to banking crises seems to be operational. A policy implication is that positive growth effects of liberalization can be achieved without increasing the risk of a banking fragility if appropriate institutions are developed.

Suggested Citation

  • Mekki Hamdaoui & Abir Zouari & Samir Maktouf, 2016. "The effect of financial liberalization on banking sector stability," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(5), pages 644-667, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:30:y:2016:i:5:p:644-667
    DOI: 10.1080/02692171.2016.1165654

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Caprio, Gerard Jr. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Finance and its reform : beyond laissez-faire," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1171, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mekki Hamdaoui, 2017. "RETRACTED ARTICLE: Liberalization, Regulatory Delays and Vulnerability to Systemic Banking Crisis," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 490-534, October.
    2. Hamdaoui, Mekki & Maktouf, Samir, 2020. "Financial reforms and banking system vulnerability: The role of regulatory frameworks," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 184-205.
    3. Hansen, Daniel, 2020. "The effectiveness of fiscal institutions: International financial flogging or domestic constraint?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    4. Mekki Hamdaoui & Samir Maktouf, 2019. "Overall effects of financial liberalization: financial crisis versus economic growth," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 568-595, July.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Vittorio Corbo, 1997. "Integración financiera en América Latina," Research Department Publications 4097, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Impavido, Gregorio & Musalem, Alberto R. & Tressel, Thierry, 2001. "Contractual savings institutions and banks'stability and efficiency," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2751, The World Bank.
    3. Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert & D'Amato, Laura & Molinari, Andrea, 1999. "The effect of foreign entry on Argentina's domestic banking sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2158, The World Bank.
    4. Ghosh, Saibal & Saggar, Mridul, 1998. "Narrow Banking: Theory, evidence and prospects in India," MPRA Paper 17352, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Alba, Pedro & Hernandez, Leonardo & Klingebiel, Daniela, 1999. "Financial liberalization and the capital account : Thailand, 1988-97," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2188, The World Bank.
    6. David T. Llewellyn, 2002. "An analysis of the causes of recent banking crises," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 152-175, June.
    7. Demirguc-Kent, Asli & Detragiache, Enrica, 1998. "Financial liberalization and financial fragility," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1917, The World Bank.
    8. Duran, Miguel A. & Lozano-Vivas, Ana, 2015. "Moral hazard and the financial structure of banks," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 28-40.
    9. Vittorio Corbo, 1997. "Integración Financiera en América Latina," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2129, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. Aka, Brou E., 2006. "On the duration of the financial system stability under liberalization," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 147-161, June.
    11. Yotopoulos, Pan A., 1997. "Financial Crises and the Benefits of Mildly Repressed Exchange Rates," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 202, Stockholm School of Economics.
    12. Aparicio, Juan & Duran, Miguel A. & Lozano-Vivas, Ana & Pastor, Jesus T., 2018. "Are charter value and supervision aligned? A segmentation analysis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 60-73.
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5962 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Pleskovic, Boris, 1994. "Financial policies in socialist countries in transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1242, The World Bank.
    15. Kenny, Charles J. & Moss, Todd J., 1998. "Stock markets in Africa: Emerging lions or white elephants?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 829-843, May.
    16. Stijn Claessens, 1998. "Banking reform in transition countries," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 115-133.
    17. Vittorio Corbo, 1997. "Financial Integration in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4096, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    18. Kevin C. Murdock & Thomas F. Hellmann & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Liberalization, Moral Hazard in Banking, and Prudential Regulation: Are Capital Requirements Enough?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 147-165, March.
    19. Wyplosz, Charles, 1999. "Financial Restraints and Liberalization in Postwar Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 2253, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:30:y:2016:i:5:p:644-667. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.