NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Bank Supervision and Corruption in Lending

Thorsten Beck, Asli Demirguc-Kunt, Ross Levine

NBER Working Paper No. 11498
Issued in August 2005
NBER Program(s):   IFM

Which commercial bank supervisory policies ease - or intensify - the degree to which bank corruption is an obstacle to firms raising external finance? Based on new data from more than 2,500 firms across 37 countries, this paper provides the first empirical assessment of the impact of different bank supervisory policies on firms’ financing obstacles. We find that the traditional approach to bank supervision, which involves empowering official supervisory agencies to directly monitor, discipline, and influence banks, does not improve the integrity of bank lending. Rather, we find that a supervisory strategy that focuses on empowering private monitoring of banks by forcing banks to disclose accurate information to the private sector tends to lower the degree to which corruption of bank officials is an obstacle to firms raising external finance. In extensions, we find that regulations that empower private monitoring exert a particularly beneficial effect on the integrity of bank lending in countries with sound legal institutions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11498

Published: Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2006. "Bank supervision and corruption in lending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2131-2163, November.

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