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Is Government Ownership of Banks Really Harmful to Growth?


  • Svetlana Andrianova
  • Panicos Demetriades
  • Anja Shortland


We put forward a modern version of the 'developmental' view of government-owned banks which shows that the combination of information asymmetries and weak institutions creates scope for such banks to play a growth-promoting role. We present new cross-country evidence consistent with our theoretical predictions. Specifically, we show that during 1995-2007 government ownership of banks has been robustly associated with higher long run growth rates. Moreover, we show that previous results suggesting that government ownership of banks is associated with lower long run growth rates are not robust to conditioning on more 'fundamental' determinants of economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Svetlana Andrianova & Panicos Demetriades & Anja Shortland, 2010. "Is Government Ownership of Banks Really Harmful to Growth?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 987, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp987

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Delano Villanueva & Abbas Mirakhor, 1990. "Strategies for Financial Reforms: Interest Rate Policies, Stabilization, and Bank Supervision in Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(3), pages 509-536, September.
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    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. What do nationalized banks do?
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-05-28 17:47:51


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    Cited by:

    1. Gutierrez, Eva & Rudolph, Heinz P. & Homa, Theodore & Beneit, Enrique Blanco, 2011. "Development banks : role and mechanisms to increase their efficiency," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5729, The World Bank.
    2. Voszka, Éva, 2015. "Államosítás, privatizáció és gazdaságpolitika - a főirány széttöredezése
      [Nationalization and privatization - in the shadow of changing paradigms of economic policy]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 717-748.
    3. Farazi Subika & Feyen Erik & Rocha Roberto, 2013. "Bank Ownership and Performance in the Middle East and North Africa Region," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2), pages 159-196, August.
    4. Vernikov, Andrei, 2011. "Government Banking in Russia: Magnitude and New Features," IWH Discussion Papers 13/2011, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Brei, Michael & Schclarek, Alfredo, 2013. "Public bank lending in times of crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 820-830.
    6. Körner, Tobias & Schnabel, Isabel, 2010. "Public Ownership of Banks and Economic Growth - The Role of Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Király, Júlia, 2016. "A magyar bankrendszer tulajdonosi struktúrájának átalakulása
      [Transformation of the ownership structure of the Hungarian banking system]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 725-761.
    8. Gelb, Alan & Tordo, Silvana & Halland, Havard & Arfaa, Noora & Smith, Gregory, 2014. "Sovereign wealth funds and long-term development finance : risks and opportunities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6776, The World Bank.
    9. Marco Pedrotti, 2014. "Model for the Interest Margin of a Risk-Neutral Bank. The Role of the Bank Orientation," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 3(1), pages 167-180, June.
    10. Xiao, Sheng & Zhao, Shan, 2012. "Financial development, government ownership of banks and firm innovation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 880-906.
    11. Guodong Chen & Yi Wu, 2014. "Bank Ownership and Credit Growth in Emerging Markets During and After the 2008–09 Financial Crisis — A Cross-Regional Comparison," IMF Working Papers 14/171, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia & Francesco Grigoli, 2013. "State-Owned Banks and Fiscal Discipline," IMF Working Papers 13/206, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Malleson, Tom, 2014. "After Occupy: Economic Democracy for the 21st Century," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199330102.
    14. Marie Luise Funke & Helena Xiang Li & Horst Löchel, 2016. "The High Profitability of Big Chinese State-Owned Banks and China’s Growth Model," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 121-134, August.

    More about this item


    Public banks; economic growth; quality of governance; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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