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Margins of International Banking: Is there a Productivity Pecking Order in Banking, too?

  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Cathérine Tahmee Koch
  • Michael Kötter

Modern trade theory emphasizes firm-level productivity differentials to explain the cross-border activities of non-financial firms. This study tests whether a productivity pecking order also determines international banking activities. Using a novel dataset that contains all German banks’ international activities, we estimate the ordered probability of a presence abroad (extensive margin) and the volume of international assets (intensive margin). Methodologically, we enrich the conventional Heckman selection model to account for the self-selection of banks into different modes of foreign activities using an ordered probit. Four main findings emerge. First, similar to results for non-financial firms, a productivity pecking order drives bank internationalization. Second, only a few non-financial firms engage in international trade, but many banks hold international assets, and only a few large banks engage in foreign direct investment. Third, in addition to productivity, risk factors matter for international banking. Fourth, gravity-type variables have an important impact on international banking activities.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2891.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2891
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  1. Nakane, Marcio I. & Weintraub, Daniela B., 2005. "Bank privatization and productivity : evidence for Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3666, The World Bank.
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  4. Alessandra Bonfiglioli, 2007. "Financial Integration, Productivity and Capital Accumulation," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 680.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 19 Dec 2007.
  5. Allen N. Berger & Qinglei Dai & Steven Ongena & David C. Smith, 2002. "To what extent will the banking industry be globalized? a study of bank nationality and reach in 20 European nations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-25, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Daude, Christian & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2006. "The pecking order of cross-border investment," Working Paper Series 0590, European Central Bank.
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  8. Ruckman, Karen, 2004. "Mode of entry mode into a foreign market: the case of U.S. mutual funds in Canada," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 417-432, March.
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  11. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Papaioannou, Elias & Peydró, José Luis, 2009. "What Lies Beneath the Euro's Effect on Financial Integration? Currency Risk, Legal Harmonization, or Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7314, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  13. Amil Petrin & Brian P. Poi & James Levinsohn, 2004. "Production function estimation in Stata using inputs to control for unobservables," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 113-123, June.
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  16. Buch, Claudia M. & Lipponer, Alexander, 2007. "FDI versus exports: Evidence from German banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 805-826, March.
  17. Cerutti, Eugenio & Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2005. "How banks go abroad : branches or subsidiaries ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3753, The World Bank.
  18. Anastasia Semykina & Jeffrey M. Woodridge, 2010. "Estimating Panel Data Models in the Presence of Endogeneity and Selection," Working Papers wp2010_10_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  19. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
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  30. repec:oup:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:2:p:441-487 is not listed on IDEAS
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