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Bank ownership and the effects of financial liberalization: evidence from India

Poonam Gupta, Kalpana Kochhar and Sanjaya Panth

Indian Growth and Development Review, 2015, vol. 8, issue 1, 109-138

Abstract: Purpose - – This paper aims to analyze, using the bank-level data for India from 1991-2007, the effect of financial sector liberalization on the availability of credit to the private sector. The authors specifically ask whether public and private banks deployed resources freed up by reduced state preemption to increase credit to the private sector. Design/methodology/approach - – The authors use bank-level data for India from 1991-2007 and difference in difference estimates to analyze how state ownership of banks affected the allocation of credit to the private sector post liberalization, and additionally how the size of fiscal deficit affected this allocation. Findings - – The authors find that post liberalization, public banks continued to allocate a larger share of their assets to government securities, or held more cash, than private banks. Crucially, public banks allocated more resources to hold government securities when fiscal deficit was high. The authors rule out profit maximization, need to hold safer assets or the lack of demand for private credit as the possible reasons for the preference of the public banks to hold government securities. The authors suggest that moral suasion or “laziness” is consistent with this behavior. Originality/value - – Our findings suggest that in developing countries, with fewer alternative channels of financing, government ownership of banks, combined with high fiscal deficit, may limit the gains from financial liberalization.

Keywords: India; Credit; Banking reforms; Financial liberalization; Crowding out; Bank ownership; E51; G18; G21; G28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Working Paper: Bank Ownership and the Effects of Financial Liberalization: Evidence from India (2011) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1108/IGDR-08-2014-0028

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