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Explaining time to bank failure in Colombia during the financial crisis of the late 1990s


  • Jose E. Gomez-Gonzalez


  • Nicholas M. Kiefer



This paper identifies the main bank specific determinants of time to failure during the financial crisis in Colombia using duration analysis. Using partial likelihood estimation, it shows that the process of failure of financial institutions during that period was not a merely random process; instead, it can be explained by differences in financial health and prudence existing across institutions. Among the relevant indicators that explain bank failure, the capitalization ratio appears to be the most significant one. Increases in this ratio lead to a reduction in the hazard rate of failure at any given moment in time. Of special relevance, this ratio exhibits a non-linear component. Other important variables explaining bank failure dynamics are profitability of assets and the ratio of non-performing loans to total loans. Leverage appears to affect the hazard rate also, but with lower statistical significance.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose E. Gomez-Gonzalez & Nicholas M. Kiefer, 2006. "Explaining time to bank failure in Colombia during the financial crisis of the late 1990s," Borradores de Economia 400, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:400

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peek, Joe & Rosengren, Eric, 1995. "Bank regulation and the credit crunch," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 679-692, June.
    2. Arturo Estrella & Sangkyun Park & Stavros Peristiani, 2000. "Capital ratios as predictors of bank failure," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 33-52.
    3. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    4. Gary Whalen, 1991. "A proportional hazards model of bank failure: an examination of its usefulness as an early warning tool," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 21-31.
    5. Robert Billings & Brenda Gonzalez-Hermosillo & Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, 1996. "Banking System Fragility; Likelihood Versus Timing of Failure: An Application to the Mexican Financial Crisis," IMF Working Papers 96/142, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item


    Banks; financial institutions; Bankruptcy; liquidation; Colombia.;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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