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Privatization Matters: Bank Efficiency in Transition Countries

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  • John P. Bonin
  • Iftekhar Hasan
  • Paul Wachtel

Abstract

To investigate the impact of bank privatization in transition countries, we take the largest banks in six relatively advanced countries, namely, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Income and balance sheet characteristics are compared across four bank ownership types. Efficiency measures are computed from stochastic frontiers and used in ownership and privatization regressions having dummy variables for bank type. Our empirical results support the hypotheses that foreign-owned banks are most efficient and governmentowned banks are least efficient. In addition, the importance of attracting a strategic foreign owner in the privatization process is confirmed. However, counter to the conjecture that foreign banks cream skim, we find that domestic banks have a local advantage in pursuing fee-forservice business. Finally, we show that both the method and the timing of privatization matter to efficiency; specifically, voucher privatization does not lead to increased efficiency and earlyprivatized banks are more efficient than later-privatized banks even though we find no evidence of a selection effect.

Suggested Citation

  • John P. Bonin & Iftekhar Hasan & Paul Wachtel, 2004. "Privatization Matters: Bank Efficiency in Transition Countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-679, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2004-679
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven Fries & Damien Neven & Paul Seabright, 2002. "Bank Performance in Transition Economies," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 505, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Ewa M. Nikiel & Timothy P. Opiela, 2002. "Customer Type And Bank Efficiency In Poland: Implications For Emerging Market Banking," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(3), pages 255-271, July.
    3. John P. Bonin & Paul Wachtel, 2005. "Dealing with Financial Fragility in Transition Economies," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Douglas D Evanoff & George G Kaufman (ed.), Systemic Financial Crises Resolving Large Bank Insolvencies, chapter 10, pages 141-157, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:30747188 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Claessens, Stijn & Demirguc-Kunt, Asl[iota] & Huizinga, Harry, 2001. "How does foreign entry affect domestic banking markets?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 891-911, May.
    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. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez‐De‐Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, February.
    8. Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert, 1999. "Why Privatize? The Case of Argentina's Public Provincial Banks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 865-886, May.
    9. Jennifer S. Crystal & B. Gerard Dages & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Does foreign ownership contribute to sounder banks in emerging markets? the Latin American experience," Staff Reports 137, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    10. Abarbanell, Jeffery S. & Bonin, John P., 1997. "Bank Privatization in Poland: The Case of Bank Slaski," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 31-61, August.
    11. Allen N. Berger & Robert DeYoung & Hesna Genay & Gregory F. Udell, 1999. "Globalization of financial institutions: evidence from cross-border banking performance," Working Paper Series WP-99-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    12. Fries, Steven & Taci, Anita, 2005. "Cost efficiency of banks in transition: Evidence from 289 banks in 15 post-communist countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 55-81, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank efficiency; bank privatization; strategic foreign owner; transition countries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General
    • P34 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Finance
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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