NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Government Ownership of Banks

Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopezde-Silanes, Andrei Shleifer

NBER Working Paper No. 7620
Issued in March 2000
NBER Program(s):   CF   PE

In this paper, we investigate a neglected aspect of financial systems of many countries around the world: government ownership of banks. We assemble data which establish four findings. First, government ownership of banks is large and pervasive around the world. Second, such ownership is particularly significant in countries with low levels of per capita income, underdeveloped financial systems, interventionist and inefficient governments, and poor protection of property rights. Third, government ownership of banks is associated with slower subsequent financial development. Finally, government ownership of banks is associated with lower subsequent growth of per capita income, and in particular with lower growth of productivity rather than slower factor accumulation. This evidence is inconsistent with the optimistic development' theories of government ownership of banks common in the 1960s, but supports the more recent political' theories of the effects of government ownership of firms.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7620

Published: 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, 02.

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