IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Conflict of interest between borrowers and lenders in credit co- operatives: the case of German co-operative banks


  • William R. Emmons
  • Willi Mueller


Over the last few decades, the co-operative banking sector in Germany has steadily increased its market share at the expense of other types of banks. This outcome is surprising from the standpoint of traditional economic thinking about co-operatives, which suggests that they are most appropriate for "backward" economies. We develop a model of co-operative banks that highlights the dual role ofmembers as borrowers and lenders. We show that a shift in the median (hence pivotal) member of the co-operative from predominantly a borrower orientation toward a lender orientation causes the co-operative bank to shift its policy from underpricing credit toward the provision ofcompetitively priced credit and deposit services. Together with a nationwide supporting infrastructure to capture scale and scope economies (the Verbund), the market-oriented policy of German co-operative banks today allows them to compete successfully with other banking groups.

Suggested Citation

  • William R. Emmons & Willi Mueller, 1997. "Conflict of interest between borrowers and lenders in credit co- operatives: the case of German co-operative banks," Working Papers 1997-009, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1997-009

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn, 1993. "The Economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 792-810, September.
    2. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1996. "The Governance of Exchanges: Members' Cooperatives versus Outside Ownership," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 53-69, Winter.
    3. repec:cep:stitep:292 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. William R. Emmons & Frank A. Schmid, 2001. "Membership structure, competition, and occupational credit union deposit rates," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 41-50.
    2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Cooperatives vs. Outside Ownership," NBER Working Papers 6421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ebrahim, M. Shahid, 2009. "Can an Islamic model of housing finance cooperative elevate the economic status of the underprivileged?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 864-883, December.
    4. Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Alignement of Interests and the Governance of Joint Ventures," IDEI Working Papers 441, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    5. Gashaw Tadesse Abate & Carlo Borzaga & Kindie Getnet, 2013. "Financial sustainability and outreach of microfinance institutions in Ethiopia: does organizational form matter?," Euricse Working Papers 1356, Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises).
    6. Kevin Davis, 2001. "Credit Union Governance and Survival of the Cooperative Form," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 19(2), pages 197-210, April.
    7. William R. Emmons & Frank A. Schmid, 1999. "Wages and risk-taking in occupational credit unions: theory and evidence," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 13-32.
    8. William R. Emmons & Frank A. Schmid, 2002. "Pricing and Dividend Policies in Open Credit Cooperatives," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(2), pages 234-234, June.
    9. Aruna Srinivasan & B. Frank King, 1998. "Credit union issues," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 3, pages 32-41.
    10. McKillop, D. G. & Glass, J. C. & Ferguson, C., 2002. "Investigating the cost performance of UK credit unions using radial and non-radial efficiency measures," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1563-1591, August.
    11. Rafik Abdesselam & Sylvie Cieply & Nicolas Le Pape, 2002. "Les facteurs de différentiation des banquiers mutualistes et commerciaux en matière de financement des PME," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 67(3), pages 121-131.
    12. Gaisina, Sholpan, 2011. "Credit through Rural Credit Partnerships for Agricultural Producers in Kazakhstan," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 39(2).
    13. Murizah Osman Salleh & Aziz Jaafar & M. Shahid Ebrahim, 2012. "Can an interest-free credit facility be more efficient than a usurious payday loan?," Working Papers 12008, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).


    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:fip:fedlwp:1997-009. 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: (Kathy Cosgrove). 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.