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Foreign Banks in Poor Countries: Theory and Evidence

  • Enrica Detragiache
  • Poonam Gupta
  • Thierry Tressel

We study how foreign bank penetration affects financial sector development in poor countries. A theoretical model shows that when foreign banks are better at monitoring highend customers than domestic banks, their entry benefits those customers but may hurt other customers and worsen welfare. The model also predicts that credit to the private sector should be lower in countries with more foreign bank penetration. In the empirical section, we show that, in poor countries, a stronger foreign bank presence is robustly associated with less credit to the private sector both in cross-sectional and panel tests. In addition, in countries with more foreign bank penetration, credit growth is slower and there is less access to credit. We find no adverse effects of foreign bank presence in more advanced countries.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/18.

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Length: 50
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/18
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  1. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Alejandro Micco & Ugo Panizza, 2004. "Should the Government Be in the Banking Business? The Role of State-Owned and Development Banks," Research Department Publications 4379, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
  3. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Alejandro Micco & Ugo Panizza, 2004. "Should the Government Be in the Banking Business?: The Role of State-Owned and Development Banks," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6684, Inter-American Development Bank.
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