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Ownership Reform, Foreign Competition, and Efficiency of Chinese Commercial Banks: A Non-Parametric Approach


  • Yao, Shujie
  • Han, Zhongwei
  • Feng, Genfu


Since China joined the WTO in 2001, the pressure for bank reforms has mounted as China ought to fully open up its financial market to foreign competition by 2006. Efficiency is key for domestic banks to survive in a liberalised environment, but it appears that the last hope for raising bank efficiency is through ownership reform. Whether ownership reform and foreign competition can solve China?s banking problem remains to be tested. This paper aims to answer this question through using a non-parametric approach to analyse the efficiency changes of 15 large commercial banks during 1998-2005. We find that ownership reform and foreign competition have forced the Chinese commercial banks to improve performance, as their total factor productivity rose by 5.6 per cent per annum. This coincides with the recent bullish Chinese stock markets led by three listed state-owned commercial banks. Despite such encouraging results, we remain cautious about the future of the Chinese banks, as the good results may have been artificially created with massive government support and the fundamentals of the banks may be still weak.

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  • Yao, Shujie & Han, Zhongwei & Feng, Genfu, 2008. "Ownership Reform, Foreign Competition, and Efficiency of Chinese Commercial Banks: A Non-Parametric Approach," WIDER Working Paper Series 038, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-38

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hao, Jonathan & Hunter, William Curt & Yang, Won Keun, 2001. "Deregulation and efficiency: the case of private Korean banks," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(2-3), pages 237-254.
    2. Alicia García-Herrero & Sergio Gavilá & Daniel Santabárbara, 2006. "China's Banking Reform: An Assessment of its Evolution and Possible Impact," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(2), pages 304-363, June.
    3. José Manuel Pastor Monsálvez, 1998. "- Efficiency And Risk Management In Banking Firms: A Method To Decompose Risk," Working Papers. Serie EC 1998-10, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    4. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B., 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: International survey and directions for future research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 175-212, April.
    5. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
    6. Bonin, John P. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Wachtel, Paul, 2005. "Bank performance, efficiency and ownership in transition countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 31-53, January.
    7. Drake, Leigh & Hall, Maximilian J.B. & Simper, Richard, 2006. "The impact of macroeconomic and regulatory factors on bank efficiency: A non-parametric analysis of Hong Kong's banking system," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1443-1466, May.
    8. Jose Pastor, 1999. "Efficiency and risk management in Spanish banking: a method to decompose risk," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 371-384.
    9. Chen, Xiaogang & Skully, Michael & Brown, Kym, 2005. "Banking efficiency in China: Application of DEA to pre- and post-deregulation eras: 1993-2000," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 229-245.
    10. Shujie Yao & Chunxia Jiang & Genfu Feng & Dirk Willenbockel, 2007. "WTO challenges and efficiency of Chinese banks," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 629-643.
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    Cited by:

    1. Asmild, Mette & Matthews, Kent, 2012. "Multi-directional efficiency analysis of efficiency patterns in Chinese banks 1997–2008," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 219(2), pages 434-441.
    2. Shujie Yao & Dan Luo & Stephen Morgan, "undated". "Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index and Bank Stock Prices in China: A Causality Analysis," Discussion Papers 08/25, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    3. Bing Xu & Adrian Van Rixtel & Michiel Van Leuvensteijn, 2013. "Measuring bank competition in China: a comparison of new versus conventional approaches applied to loan markets," BIS Working Papers 422, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Wang, Ke & Huang, Wei & Wu, Jie & Liu, Ying-Nan, 2014. "Efficiency measures of the Chinese commercial banking system using an additive two-stage DEA," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 5-20.
    5. Kai Du & Andrew C. Worthington & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2015. "The dynamic relationship between bank asset diversification and efficiency: Evidence from the Chinese banking sector," CEPA Working Papers Series WP122015, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    6. Jiang, Chunxia & Yao, Shujie & Zhang, Zongyi, 2009. "The effects of governance changes on bank efficiency in China: A stochastic distance function approach," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 717-731, December.
    7. Huang, Tai-Hsin & Lin, Chung-I & Chen, Kuan-Chen, 2017. "Evaluating efficiencies of Chinese commercial banks in the context of stochastic multistage technologies," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 93-110.
    8. Trien Vinh Le & Jonathan P. O'Brien, 2010. "Can Two Wrongs Make a Right? State Ownership and Debt in a Transition Economy," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(7), pages 1297-1316, November.
    9. repec:kap:iaecre:v:23:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11294-017-9654-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Zha, Yong & Liang, Nannan & Wu, Maoguo & Bian, Yiwen, 2016. "Efficiency evaluation of banks in China: A dynamic two-stage slacks-based measure approach," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 60-72.
    11. repec:elg:eechap:15532_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2163-:d:120110 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Shiyi Chen & Wolfgang K. Härdle & Li Wang, 2014. "Estimation and Determinants of Chinese Banks’ Total Factor Efficiency: A New Vision Based on Unbalanced Development of Chinese Banks and Their Overall Risk," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-068, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    14. Hou, Xiaohui & Wang, Qing & Zhang, Qi, 2014. "Market structure, risk taking, and the efficiency of Chinese commercial banks," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 75-88.

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    data envelopment analysis (DEA); efficiency; banking; China;

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