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Better the Devil that You Know: Evidence on Entry Costs Faced by Foreign Banks

  • Arturo Galindo
  • Alejandro Micco
  • César Manuel Serra

Institutional and legal differences between countries increase entry costs and reduce the ability of banks to expand abroad. We use bilateral foreign banking data for 176 countries to estimate a gravity model in which bilateral cross-border banking activity is explained, in addition to standard variables, by legal and institutional differences. We find that foreign banking is negatively affected by absolute differences in the legal setup and in basic institutions between source and host countries. Differences in the legal origin, for example, reduce bilateral participation in the banking system by nearly 11 percent. Additionally we do not find strong evidence suggesting asymmetries in adapting to better or worse institutional/legal environments.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 6500.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6500
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  1. Focarelli, D. & Pozzolo, A.F., 2000. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Bank Share holdings: an Analysis with Bank-Level Data from OECD Countries," Papers 381, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  2. Jennifer S. Crystal & B. Gerard Dages & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Does foreign ownership contribute to sounder banks in emerging markets? the Latin American experience," Staff Reports 137, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Schmukler, Sergio L., 1999. "Do depositors punish banks for"bad"behavior? : market discipline in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2058, The World Bank.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  5. Grosse, Robert & Goldberg, Lawrence G., 1991. "Foreign bank activity in the United States: An analysis by country of origin," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1093-1112, December.
  6. Brealey, R. A. & Kaplanis, E. C., 1996. "The determination of foreign banking location," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 577-597, August.
  7. Linda S. Goldberg, 2002. "When Is U.S. Bank Lending to Emerging Markets Volatile?," NBER Chapters, in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 171-196 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Williams, Barry, 1998. "Factors affecting the performance of foreign-owned banks in Australia: A cross-sectional study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 197-219, February.
  9. María Soledad Martínez-Peria & Sergio Schmukler, 2002. "Do Depositors Punish Banks for Bad Behavior? Market Discipline, Deposit Insurance, and Banking Crises," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 5, pages 143-174 Central Bank of Chile.
  10. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-50, July.
  11. Claessens, Stijn & Demirguc-Kunt, Asl[iota] & Huizinga, Harry, 2001. "How does foreign entry affect domestic banking markets?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 891-911, May.
  12. Moshirian, Fariborz, 2001. "International investment in financial services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 317-337, February.
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