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The Corporate Governance of Banks - a concise discussion of concepts and evidence

  • Levine, Ross

The author examines the corporate governance of banks. When banks efficiently mobilize and allocate funds, this lowers the cost of capital to firms, boosts capital formation, and stimulates productivity growth. So, weak governance of banks reverberates throughout the economy with negative ramifications for economic development. After reviewing the major governance concepts for corporations in general, the author discusses two special attributes of banks that make them special in practice: greater opaqueness than other industries and greater government regulation. These attributes weaken many traditional governance mechanisms. Next, he reviews emerging evidence on which government policies enhance the governance of banks and draws tentative policy lessons. In sum, existing work suggests that it is important to strengthen the ability and incentives of private investors to exert governance over banks rather than to rely excessively on government regulators. These conclusions, however, are particularly tentative because more research is needed on how legal, regulatory, and supervisory policies influence the governance of banks.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3404.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3404
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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-deSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "Government Ownership of Banks," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1890, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-83, June.
  3. Hay, Jonathan R & Shleifer, Andrei, 1998. "Private Enforcement of Public Laws: A Theory of Legal Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 398-403, May.
  4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:1:p:231-268 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Bank supervision and corporate finance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3042, The World Bank.
  6. Horiuchi, Akiyoshi & Shimizu, Katsutoshi, 2001. "Did amakudari undermine the effectiveness of regulator monitoring in Japan?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 573-596, March.
  7. Zingales, Luigi, 1994. "The Value of the Voting Right: A Study of the Milan Stock Exchange Experience," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 125-48.
  8. Kose John & Yiming Qian, 2003. "Incentive features in CEO compensation in the banking industry," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 109-121.
  9. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "Disclosure Laws and Takeover Bids," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 23-79, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  10. World Bank, 2001. "Finance for Growth : Policy Choices in a Volatile World," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13895.
  11. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Caprio, Gerard & Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2004. "Governance and bank valuation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3202, The World Bank.
  13. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda, 1985. "Managerial ownership of voting rights : A study of public corporations with dual classes of common stock," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 33-69, March.
  14. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1999. "Investor Protection and Corporate Valuation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1882, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. Furfine, Craig H, 2001. "Banks as Monitors of Other Banks: Evidence from the Overnight Federal Funds Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 33-57, January.
  16. Levine, Ross, 1996. "Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1678, The World Bank.
  17. Charles W. Calomiris & Andrew Powell, 2000. "Can Emerging Market Bank Regulators Establish Credible Discipline? The Case of Argentina, 1992-1999," NBER Working Papers 7715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
  19. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  20. Caprio, Gerard & Honohan, Patrick, 2001. "Finance for Growth: Policy Choices in a Volatile World," MPRA Paper 9929, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2004. "Market discipline and deposit insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 375-399, March.
  22. Renee B. Adams & Hamid Mehran, 2003. "Is corporate governance different for bank holding companies?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 123-142.
  23. Jensen, Michael C, 1988. "Takeovers: Their Causes and Consequences," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 21-48, Winter.
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