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What Do State-Owned Firms Maximize? Evidence from the Italian Banks

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  • Sapienza, Paola

Abstract

This Paper studies the objective function of state-owned banks. Using information on individual loan contracts, I compare the interest rate charged to two sets of companies with identical characteristics borrowing respectively from state-owned and privately owned banks. State-owned banks charge lower interest rates than do privately owned banks to similar or identical firms, even if the company is able to borrow more from privately owned banks. State-owned banks mostly favour firms located in depressed areas and large firms. The lending behaviour of state-owned banks is affected by the electoral results of the party affiliated with the bank: the stronger the political party in the area where the firm is borrowing, the lower the interest rates charged. This result is robust to including bank and firm fixed effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Sapienza, Paola, 2002. "What Do State-Owned Firms Maximize? Evidence from the Italian Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 3168, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3168
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Does Local Financial Development Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 929-969.
    2. Michael Andrews, 2005. "State-Owned Banks, Stability, Privatization, and Growth; Practical Policy Decisions in a World Without Empirical Proof," IMF Working Papers 05/10, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Kleff, Volker & Weber, Martin, 2005. "Payout Policy and Owners? Interests: Evidence from German Savings Banks," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-59, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Alexandre Rands Barros, 2005. "The Impact Of State Owned Banks On Interest Rates Spread," Anais do XXXIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 33th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 041, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    5. Mariarosaria Agostino & Leone Leonida & Francesco Trivieri, 2005. "Profits persistence and ownership: evidence from the Italian banking sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(14), pages 1615-1621.
    6. Farabullini,F. & Hester,D.D., 2001. "The performance of some recently privatized Italian banks," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    7. Acharya, Viral V & Hasan, Iftekhar & Saunders, Anthony, 2002. "The Effects of Focus and Diversification on Bank Risk and Return: Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," CEPR Discussion Papers 3252, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Claeys, Sophie & Vander Vennet, Rudi, 2008. "Determinants of bank interest margins in Central and Eastern Europe: A comparison with the West," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 197-216, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    government; ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises

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