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Did Good Cajas Extend Bad Loans? Governance, Human Capital and Loan Portfolios


  • Vicente, Cuñat
  • Luis, Garicano


Did financial institutions with better governance arrangements weather the recent financial crisis better? And how about those with more qualified chairmen? We answer these questions in the context of the Spanish Savings and Loans (Cajas). We find that neither formal governance institutions (e.g. the way the board is appointed) nor real governance (e.g. the actual composition of the board and the role played by political parties in it) are highly correlated with the composition of the loan book at the peak of the financial crisis (the size of the portfolios of real estate and individual loans) or with the performance of these loans (the amount of non performing loans in the crisis or the decrease in ratings). On the other hand, we find a clear and significant impact of the human capital of the Caja chairmen on the measures of loan book composition and performance. In particular, we find that (1) Cajas whose chairman was previously a political appointee have had significantly worse loan performance; (2) Cajas whose chairman did not have postgraduate education have significantly worse performance; and (3) Cajas whose chairman had no banking experience had significantly worse performance.We examine the implications of these findings for our understanding of the origins of the crisis and for the future regulation of the Cajas.

Suggested Citation

  • Vicente, Cuñat & Luis, Garicano, 2010. "Did Good Cajas Extend Bad Loans? Governance, Human Capital and Loan Portfolios," MPRA Paper 42434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42434

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Calvo Angela Garcia, 2016. "Institutional development and bank competitive transformation in late industrializing economies: the Spanish case," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 27-62, April.
    2. Luis Garicano & Luis Rayo, 2016. "Why Organizations Fail: Models and Cases," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 137-192, March.
    3. Miguel Ángel Borrella Mas, 2015. "Partisan Alignment and Political Corruption. Theory and Evidence from Spain Job Market Paper," Working Papers. Serie AD 2015-07, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    4. Andrea ÉLTETÕ, 2011. "The economic crisis and its management in Spain," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 2, pages 41-55, June.
    5. Stefanelli, Valeria & Matteo, Cotugno, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis on Board Monitoring Role and Loan Portfolio Quality Measurement in Banks," MPRA Paper 29766, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Filippo De Marco & Marco Macchiavelli, 2016. "The Political Origin of Home Bias: The Case of Europe," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-060, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Owen, Ann L. & Temesvary, Judit, 2017. "The performance effects of gender diversity on bank boards," MPRA Paper 80078, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Emma García-Meca, 2016. "Political connections, gender diversity and compensation policy," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 553-576, July.
    9. Ana Lozano-Vivas & Miguel Meléndez-Jiménez & Antonio Morales, 2011. "With whom to merge? A tale of the Spanish banking deregulation process," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 159-184, June.
    10. Daniel Ferreira & Tom Kirchmaier & Daniel Metzger, 2011. "Boards of Banks," FMG Discussion Papers dp664, Financial Markets Group.

    More about this item


    savings banks; crisis; human capital; CEOs;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General


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