IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Delegation and Delay in Bank Privatization


  • Lorand Ambrus-Lakatos
  • Ulrich Hege


The paper explains why bank privatization in transition economies is frequently delayed in comparison to privatizing non-financial firms. In the model, the government inherits a distressed bank with bad loans to a representative non-financial firm. The firm will only abstain from wasteful opportunistic behavior if there is a credible to signal that its future budget constraint will be hard. If the government takes over the state-owned bank directly or re-capitalizes and privatizes it immediately, then signaling leads to excessive liquidation. Delay in privatization allows delegating the signaling and can be beneficial because the signaling distortion can be shifted across "types". The analysis assumes a political constraint to sell the state-owned bank to a domestic investor (shallow pockets), but shows also that a Pareto improvement can typically be achieved if a buyer with a deep pocket can be found (foreign investor), Policy implications concerning timing and scope of bank privatization are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorand Ambrus-Lakatos & Ulrich Hege, 1998. "Delegation and Delay in Bank Privatization," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 181, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1998-181

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dehejia, Vivek H., 2001. "Optimal restructuring under a political constraint," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 1989-2006, December.
    2. Gomes, Joao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Equilibrium unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 109-152, August.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Olivier J. Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 283-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Boucekkine, Raouf & Germain, Marc & Licandro, Omar, 1997. "Replacement Echoes in the Vintage Capital Growth Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 333-348, June.
    5. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 908-931, September.
    6. Atkeson, Andrew & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1996. "Social Insurance and Transition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 377-401, May.
    7. Mariano Tommasi & Andres Velasco, 1996. "Where are we in the political economy of reform?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 187-238.
    8. Olivier Blanchard & Michael Kremer, 1997. "Disorganization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1091-1126.
    9. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Vivek Dehejia & Douglas Dwyer, 2004. "Output and unemployment dynamics in transition," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 69-81.
    11. Boucekkine, Raouf & Licandro, Omar & Paul, Christopher, 1997. "Differential-difference equations in economics: On the numerical solution of vintage capital growth models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 347-362.
    12. Dehejia, Vivek, 1997. "Optimal Restructuring Under a Political Constraint: A General Equilibrium Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 1619, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Castanheira, Micael & Roland, Gerard, 2000. "The Optimal Speed of Transition: A General Equilibrium Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 219-239, February.
    14. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
    15. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick Kehoe, 1997. "Industry Evolution and Transition: A Neoclassical Benchmark," NBER Working Papers 6005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Abel, Istvan & Siklos, Pierre L., 2004. "Secrets to the successful Hungarian bank privatization: the benefits of foreign ownership through strategic partnerships," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 111-123, June.

    More about this item


    bad loans; delegated signing; delayed recapitalization;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P34 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Finance
    • P41 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P43 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Finance; Public Finance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1998-181. 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: (WDI). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.