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Big fish in small banking ponds? Cost advantage and foreign affiliate presence

R. Galema and Michael Koetter

Journal of International Money and Finance, 2018, vol. 81, issue C, 138-158

Abstract: We distinguish cost advantage at home from cost advantage vis-à-vis incumbent banks in destination markets to explain the probability of foreign bank affiliate lending. We combine detailed affiliate lending data of all German banks with public bank micro data from 59 destination markets. The likelihood to operate foreign affiliates depends positively on both types of cost advantage. Only cost advantage at home is economically significant. Generally, risk, return, and unobservable bank traits explain a larger share of the variation in foreign affiliate operations. Less profitable, more risky, and larger banks are more likely to operate affiliates abroad.

Keywords: Multinational banks; Cost advantage; International banking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F3 G21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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