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Deregulation and productivity growth: a study of Indian commercial banking


  • Tianshu Zhao

    () (The University of Reading and The University of Wales, Bangor)

  • Barbara Casu

    (The University of Wales, Bangor)

  • Alessandra Ferrari

    () (Department of Economics, University of Reading)


This paper examines the impact of regulatory reform on the performance of Indian commercial banks. Using a balanced panel data set covering from the beginning of the deregulation period (1992) to the most recent years (2004) and employing a DEA-based Malmquist index of total factor productivity change, this paper attempts to quantify the magnitude of total factor productivity change and identify its main sources. We also explore whether deregulation has had a different impact on the performance of public, private and foreign banks and whether it affected the risk-taking behaviour of market participants. The empirical results seem to indicate that, after an initial adjustment phase, the Indian banking industry experienced sustained productivity growth, driven mainly by technological progress. Banks’ ownership structure seems to have an impact on bank efficiency but does not appear to have an influence on total factor productivity change. Although ownership per se does not seem to matter as much as increased competition, during the deregulation process foreign banks appear to have acted as technological innovators, thereby increasing even further the competitive pressure in the Indian banking market. Finally, our results also indicate an increase in risk-taking behaviour along with the whole deregulation process.

Suggested Citation

  • Tianshu Zhao & Barbara Casu & Alessandra Ferrari, 2006. "Deregulation and productivity growth: a study of Indian commercial banking," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2006-38, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2006-38

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sunil Kumar, 2013. "Banking reforms and the evolution of cost efficiency in Indian public sector banks," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 143-182, May.
    2. Zhao, Tianshu & Casu, Barbara & Ferrari, Alessandra, 2010. "The impact of regulatory reforms on cost structure, ownership and competition in Indian banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 246-254, January.
    3. Asish Saha & Umakant Dash, 2016. "Consolidation in Indian banking: Does size matter?," DECISION: Official Journal of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Springer;Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, vol. 43(3), pages 223-238, September.

    More about this item


    Deregulation; Indian banking; Productivity Change; Malmquist Index;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity


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