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Should the Government Be in the Banking Business? The Role of State-Owned and Development Banks

  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati
  • Alejandro Micco
  • Ugo Panizza

This paper surveys the theoretical and empirical literature on the role of state-owned banks and also presents some new results and a robustness analysis. The paper shows that state-owned banks located in developing countries have fiscal costs because they are characterized by lower returns than comparable privately owned banks (on the other hand, there is no evidence that state-owned banks located in industrial countries are less profitable than their private counterparts). We then point out that this evidence cannot be used as an argument against the existence of state-owned banks, as this low profitability might stem from state-owned banks’ activity on projects characterized by low private sector investment and high social return. While we find no evidence that the presence of state-owned banks promotes economic growth or financial development, we also find that the evidence that state-owned banks lead to lower growth and financial development is not as strong as previously thought.

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File URL: http://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=WP-517&pub_file_name=pubWP-517.pdf
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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4379.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4379
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  1. Stijn Claessens & Luc Laeven, 2003. "Financial Development, Property Rights, and Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2401-2436, December.
  2. Paul Wachtel & John Bonin & Iftekhar Hasan, 2004. "Privatization Matters: Bank Efficiency in Transition Countries," Working Papers 04-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2005. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 780-795, June.
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  5. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
  6. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State versus Private Ownership," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 133-150, Fall.
  7. Clarke, George R G & Cull, Robert, 2002. "Political and Economic Determinants of the Likelihood of Privatizing Argentine Public Banks," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 165-97, April.
  8. Beck, Thorsten & Crivelli, Juan Miguel & Summerhill, William, 2005. "State bank transformation in Brazil - choices and consequences," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3619, The World Bank.
  9. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Detragiache, Enrica, 1999. "Does deposit insurance increase banking system stability ? An empirical investigation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2247, The World Bank.
  10. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Government Ownership of Banks," Working Paper Series rwp01-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. George J. Stigler, 1967. "Imperfections in the Capital Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 287.
  12. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz, 1999. "Development banking," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 83-100, February.
  13. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Sapienza, Paola, 2004. "The effects of government ownership on bank lending," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 357-384, May.
  15. Santiago Fernández de Lis & Jorge Martínez Pagés & Jesús Saurina, 2000. "Credit Growth, Problem Loans and Credit Risk Provisioning in Spain," Working Papers 0018, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  16. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  17. Kane, Edward J, 1977. "Good Intentions and Unintended Evil: The Case against Selective Credit Allocation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 9(1), pages 55-69, February.
  18. E. Gerald Corrigan, 1982. "Are banks special?," Annual Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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