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Economic Freedom, Country Risk and Cost Efficiency in Jordan and the GCC Countries

Anwar Al-Gasaymeh

Global Business Review, 2020, vol. 21, issue 1, 1-17

Abstract: Using data from 2003 to 2010, we examine the impact of economic freedom and country risks on the bank costs of potential Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) union. In estimating a common frontier, this article employs Stochastic Frontier Approach (SFA) to control for country-specific variables, that is, economic freedom, country risk, macroeconomic conditions, bank accessibility and bank structure, for an unbalanced panel of 90 Jordanian and the GCC countries’ banks. This article further estimates bank efficiency levels in the potential GCC union member countries to shed some light on the capability and capacity of the banks to compete and survive within the future GCC union. We find that economic freedom helps in reducing potential bank costs. Enhancing economic freedom is crucial for the region to attract more investments and create a viable banking system. In order for the GCC members to have a successful union and achieve the objectives faster, it is important to have a similar level of economic performance, in particular in the banking sector.

Keywords: Economic freedom; country risk; SFA; Jordan; GCC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/0972150917749292

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