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Legal origin, creditor protection and bank lending: Evidence from emerging markets

  • Cole, Rebel
  • Turk, Rima

Numerous papers in the “law and finance” literature have established that countries with better functioning legal institutions enjoy better developed capital markets, and that legal origin is a fundamental determinant of legal institutions (La Porta et al. 1997, 1998, 2006; Djankov et al. 2007). In this study, we test whether banks are willing to grant more credit to the private sector when they enjoy superior legal protection. We test this hypothesis using bank-level data from 45 emerging-market countries and a random-effects model that controls for bank heterogeneity. We find that lenders allocate a significantly higher portion of their assets to loans (i) where they enjoy English legal origin rather than French or Socialist legal origin; (ii) where enforcement of debt contracts is more efficient and (iii) where banks enjoy fewer restrictions on their operations. These support our hypothesis that superior legal protection leads to more bank credit, which, in turn, should lead to higher economic growth.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4713.

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Date of creation: 30 May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4713
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  1. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2004. "When Can Changes in Expectations Cause Business Cycle Fluctuations in Neo-Classical Settings?," NBER Working Papers 10776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1992. "The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform," CEP Discussion Papers dp0093, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
  4. Shleifer, Andrei & Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries?," Scholarly Articles 27867134, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Law, endowments, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 137-181, November.
  6. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1788, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2002. "Law and Finance: why Does Legal Origin Matter?," NBER Working Papers 9379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rafael La porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2002. "Investor Protection and Corporate Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1147-1170, 06.
  9. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2000. "Funding growth in bank-based and market-based financial systems : evidence from firm level data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2432, The World Bank.
  10. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
  11. Jun Qian & Philip E. Strahan, 2007. "How Laws and Institutions Shape Financial Contracts: The Case of Bank Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(6), pages 2803-2834, December.
  12. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-41.
  13. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
  14. Edward Glaeser & Simon Johnson & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Coase Versus the Coasians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 853-899.
  15. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-879.
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