IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Bank regulation and supervision : what works best?

  • Barth, James R.
  • Caprio Jr., Gerard
  • Levine, Ross

The authors draw on their new database on bank regulation and supervision in 107 countries to assess different governmental approaches to bank regulation and supervision and evaluate the efficacy of different regulatory and supervisory policies. First, the authors assess two broad and competing theories of government regulation: the helping-hand approach, according to which governments regulate to correct market failures, and the grabbing-hand approach, according to which governments regulate to support political constituencies. Second, they assess the effect of an extensive array of regulatory and supervisory policies on the development and fragility of the banking sector. These policies include the following: Regulations on bank activities and the mixing of banking and commerce. Regulations on entry by domestic and foreign banks. Regulations on capital adequacy. Design features of deposit insurance systems. Supervisory power, independence, and resources; stringency of loan classification; provisioning standards; diversification guidelines; and powers to take prompt corrective action. Regulations governing information disclosure and fostering private sector monitoring of banks. Government ownership of banks. The results raise a cautionary flag with regard to reform strategies that place excessive reliance on a country's adherence to an extensive checklist of regulatory and supervisory practices that involve direct government oversight of and restrictions on banks. The findings, which are much more consistent with the grabbing-hand view of regulation than with the helping-hand view, suggest that the regulatory and supervisory practices most effective in promoting good performance and stability in the banking sector are those that force accurate information disclosure, empower private sector monitoring of banks, and foster incentives for private agents to exert corporate control.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2725.

in new window

Date of creation: 30 Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2725
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," Working Paper Series rwp01-015, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2002. "Law, Endowment, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 9089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 2000. "Financial intermediation and growth: Causality and causes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 31-77, August.
  6. Keeley, Michael C, 1990. "Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1183-1200, December.
  7. Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Enrica Detragiache, 2000. "Does Deposit Insurance Increase Banking System Stability? An Empirical Investigation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1751, Econometric Society.
  8. Koehn, Michael & Santomero, Anthony M, 1980. " Regulation of Bank Capital and Portfolio Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(5), pages 1235-44, December.
  9. Barth, James R. & Caprio Jr, Gerard & Levine, Ross, 2001. "The regulation and supervision of banks around the world - a new database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2588, The World Bank.
  10. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  11. Boot, Arnoud W A & Thakor, Anjan V, 1997. "Financial System Architecture," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 693-733.
  12. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. James R. Barth & Gerard Caprio Jr. & Ross Levine, 2001. "Banking Systems around the Globe: Do Regulation and Ownership Affect Performance and Stability?," NBER Chapters, in: Prudential Supervision: What Works and What Doesn't, pages 31-96 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. John, Kose & John, Teresa A. & Saunders, Anthony, 1994. "Universal banking and firm risk-taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 307-323, January.
  15. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  16. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1996. "Stock markets, banks, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1690, The World Bank.
  17. Allen N. Berger & Rebecca S. Demsetz & Philip E. Strahan, 1998. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Allen N. Berger & Richard J. Herring & Giorgio P. Szego, 1995. "The role of capital in financial institutions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. João A. C. Santos, 2000. "Bank capital regulation in contemporary banking theory: a review of the literature," BIS Working Papers 90, Bank for International Settlements.
  21. Blum, Jurg, 1999. "Do capital adequacy requirements reduce risks in banking?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 755-771, May.
  22. Mullins, Helena M. & Pyle, David H., 1994. "Liquidation costs and risk-based bank capital," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 113-138, January.
  23. Keeley, Michael C. & Furlong, Frederick T., 1990. "A reexamination of mean-variance analysis of bank capital regulation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 69-84, March.
  24. John H. Boyd & Chun Chang & Bruce D. Smith, 1998. "Moral hazard under commercial and universal banking," Working Papers 585, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "The prudential regulation of banks," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9539, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  26. Gary Gorton & Andrew Winton, 2002. "Financial Intermediation," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-28, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  27. Thakor, Anjan V, 1996. " Capital Requirements, Monetary Policy, and Aggregate Bank Lending: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 279-324, March.
  28. Alan Greenspan, 1998. "The role of capital in optimal banking supervision and regulation," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 163-168.
  29. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 1999. "Market Discipline and Financial Safety Net Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 2311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Boot, Arnoud W A & Thakor, Anjan, 1997. "Can Relationship Banking Survive Competition?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1592, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  31. Puri, Manju, 1996. "Commercial banks in investment banking Conflict of interest or certification role?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 373-401, March.
  32. repec:fth:wobaco:1083 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
  34. Kim, Daesik & Santomero, Anthony M, 1988. " Risk in Banking and Capital Regulation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1219-33, December.
  35. Besanko, David & Kanatas, George, 1996. "The Regulation of Bank Capital: Do Capital Standards Promote Bank Safety?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 160-183, April.
  36. Michael Taylor & Marc Quintyn, 2002. "Regulatory and Supervisory Independence and Financial Stability," IMF Working Papers 02/46, International Monetary Fund.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2725. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.