Browsing by Author "Wachtel, Paul"

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  • Korhonen, Iikka; Wachtel, Paul (2005)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 2/2005
    Published in Research in International Business and Finance Vol. 20, No. 2 (2006), pp. 215-226
    We assess the extent and speed of exchange rate pass-through in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).We do this in the framework of vector autoregressive regressions, utilising impulse functions and variance decompositions with monthly data that starts in 1999 in order to avoid periods of very high inflation and the Russian crisis.We find that exchange rate movements have a clear impact on price developments in the CIS countries.The speed of the pass-through is also fairly high: in most cases the full effect is transmitted into domestic prices in less than 12 months.Unlike in many other emerging market economies, an additional effect from US prices on to domestic prices is not significant.The extent of the exchange rate pass-through is usually much higher than in our benchmark group of emerging market countries.Variance decomposition shows that the relative share of exchange rates in explaining changes in domestic prices is higher in the CIS countries than in the benchmark group. Our results indicate that policy-makers in the CIS countries need to pay more attention to exchange rate movements than in many other emerging market countries.Key words: exchange rate pass-through, inflation, exchange rate regime, transition countries JEL: E31, E42, F31, F42
  • Bonin, John P.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Wachtel, Paul (2004)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2004
    Published in Journal of Banking & Finance vol. 29, no 1 (2005), pp. 31-53
    Using data from 1996 to 2000, we investigate the effects of ownership, especially by a strategic foreign owner, on bank efficiency for eleven transition countries in an unbalanced panel consisting of 225 banks and 856 observations.Applying stochastic frontier estimation procedures, we compute profit and cost efficiency scores taking account of both time and country effects directly.In second-stage regressions, we take these efficiency measures along with return on assets as dependent variables with dummy variables for ownership type, a variable controlling for bank size, and dummy variables for year and country effects as explanatory variables.Methodologically, our results demonstrate the importance of including fixed effects, especially country effects, and also suggest a preference for efficiency measures over financial measures of bank performance in empirical work on transition countries. With respect to the impact of ownership, we conclude that privatization by itself is not sufficient to increase bank efficiency as government-owned banks are not appreciably less efficient than domestic private banks.Our results do support the hypothesis that foreign ownership leads to more efficient banks in transition countries.We find that foreign-owned banks are more cost-efficient than other banks and that they also provide better service, in particular if they have a strategic foreign owner. Moreover, the participation of international institutional investors is shown to have a considerable additional positive impact on profit efficiency, which is consistent with the notion that these investors facilitate the transfer of technology and know how to newly privatized banks.In addition, we find that the remaining government-owned banks are less efficient in providing services, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the better banks were privatized first in transition countries.Finally, efficiency declines with bank size, which could call into question government-orchestrated bank consolidation strategies.We conjecture that the presence of many small and efficient foreign greenfield operations in these transition countries may be responsible for this result. JEL Classifications: P30, P34, P52.
  • Bonin, John; Hasan, Iftekhar; Wachtel, Paul (2014)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 8/2014
    Modern banking institutions were virtually non-existent in the planned economies of cen-tral Europe and the former Soviet Union. In the early transition period, banking sectors be-gan to develop during several years of macroeconomic decline and turbulence accompa-nied by repeated bank crises. However, governments in many transition countries learned from these tumultuous experiences and eventually dealt successfully with the accumulated bad loans and lack of strong bank regulation. In addition, rapid progress in bank privatiza-tion and consolidation took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s, usually with the par-ticipation of foreign banks. By the mid 2000s the banking sectors in many transition coun-tries were dominated by foreign owners and were able to provide a wide range of services. Credit growth resumed, sometimes too rapidly, particularly in the form of lending to households. The global financial crisis put transition banking to test. Countries that had expanded credit rapidly were vulnerable to the macroeconomic shock and there was con-siderable concern that foreign owners would reduce their funding to transition country sub-sidiaries. However, the banking sectors turned out to be resilient, a strong indication of the rapid progress in institutional development and regulatory capabilities in the transition countries. Keywords: transition banking, bank privatization, foreign banks, bank regulation, credit growth JEL codes: G21, P27, O57
  • Bonin, John; Hasan, Iftekhar; Wachtel, Paul (2008)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2008
    Modern banking institutions were virtually non-existent in the planned economies of cen-tral Europe and the former Soviet Union. In the early transition period, banking sectors began to develop during several years of macroeconomic decline and turbulence accompa-nied by repeated bank crises. However, governments in many transition countries learned from these tumultuous experiences and eventually dealt successfully with the accumulated bad loans and lack of strong bank regulation. In addition, rapid progress in bank privatiza-tion and consolidation took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s, usually with the partic-ipation of foreign banks. By 2005, the banking sectors in many transition countries had developed sufficiently to provide a wide range of services with solid bank performance. Recently, banks have switched their focus from lending to enterprises in a somewhat un-derdeveloped institutional environment to new collateralized lending to households, which accounts for much of the recent growth of credit in many transition countries. Keywords: transition banking, bank privatization, foreign banks, bank regulation, credit growth. JEL codes: G21, P30, P34, P52
  • Bonin, John; Wachtel, Paul (2004)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 22/2004
    Published in Systemic Financial Crises: Resolving Large Bank Insolvencies, D. Evanoff, G. Kaufman, eds., World Publishing, 2005
    We examine the efforts of transition economies to deal with financial fragility and resolve banking cries We characterize the birthing process of banking in transition and the three essential features of banking crises in transition economies: (i) bad loans and the relationship to state owned industries, (ii) development of institutional infrastructure and (iii) credible commitments to resolution and privatization.We then discuss the experiences of seven important transition countries in order to identify the salient features of their efforts to resolve banking crises.
  • Bonin, John; Wachtel, Paul (2002)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 9/2002
    Published in Financial Markets, Institutions and Instruments vol 12, no 1 (2003), pp. 1-66
    The first decade of transition witnessed rapid and tumultuous financial sector development.Although, few transition economies have reached the point where institutions and markets fulfill all the functions of market based financial intermediation, progress has been much more rapid than had been anticipated.In many countries, active market-oriented financial institutions function where there was only a state planning mechanism a decade ago. Initial experiences showed that bank privatization programs often failed to achieve independence from government control and from undesirable weak clients.It is now widely accepted that the participation of foreign strategic investors in banking is an effective way of meeting these goals Capital market development is complicated by the need to support the development of institutional infrastructure and regulatory mechanisms while at the same time avoid interfering in the markets.In many instances policy makers expected immature markets and institutions to accomplish unattainable goals.Equity markets cannot be effectively support mass privatization programs.There are still many missing pieces in virtually all of the transition country capital markets. Key words: capital markets, financial sector, privatization, transition economies
  • Hasan, Iftekhar; Song, Liang; Wachtel, Paul (2013)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 20/2013
    Published in Journal of Comparative Economics, Volume 42, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages 92–108
    Better developed legal and political institutions result in greater availability of reliable firm-specific information. When stock prices reflect more firm-specific information there will be less stock price synchronicity. This paper traces the experience of China, an economy undergoing dramatic institutional change in the last 20 years with rich variation in experiences across provinces. We show that stock price synchronicity is lower when there is institutional development in terms of property rights protection and rule of law. Further-more, we investigate the influence of political pluralism on synchronicity. A more pluralistic regime reduces uncertainty and opaqueness regarding government interventions and therefore increases the value of firm-specific information that reduces synchronicity. JEL Classification Numbers: G14; G15; G24; G38 Keywords: Institutions; China; stock price synchronicity
  • Hasan, Iftekhar; Wachtel, Paul; Zhou, Mingming (2006)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2006
    Published in Journal of Banking & Finance, vol. 33, Issue 1, January 2009, pp. 157-170
    There have been profound changes in both political and economic institutions in China over the last twenty years.Moreover, the pace of transition has led to variation across the country in the level of development.In this paper, we use panel data for the Chinese provinces to study the role of legal institutions, financial deepening and political pluralism on growth rates.The most important institutional developments for a transition economy are the emergence and legalization of the market economy, the establishment of secure property rights, the growth of a private sector, the development of financial sector institutions and markets, and the liberalization of political institutions.We develop measures of these phenomena, which are used as explanatory variables in regression models to explain provincial GDP growth rates.Our evidence suggests that the development of financial markets, legal environment, awareness of property rights and political pluralism are associated with stronger growth. JEL Classifications: O16, P14, P16, O53
  • Wachtel, Paul; Korhonen, Iikka (2004)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 5/2004
    The transition economies were remarkably successful in curbing the inflation that took place after the initial transition and shocks and, more recently, most of the countries have brought inflation down to the levels found in major developed countries.In this paper we review the experiences and show how fiscal discipline, monetary policy and exchange rate policy contributed to the outcome.In addition, we note that the influence of EU accession on institutions and policy may have played an important role.The paper also surveys the literature on the quality of the inflation data, the extent to which necessary relative price adjustments have occurred and the size of the Balassa-Samuelson effect.Case studies of disinflation in four countries are presented: Poland, Romania, Estonia and Russia.
  • Bonin, John P.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Wachtel, Paul (2004)
    BOFIT Discussion Papers 8/2004
    Published in Journal of Banking and Finance, (29), August-September 2005, pp. 2153-78 as "Privatization Matters: Bank Performance in Transition Countries"
    To investigate the impact of bank privatization in transition countries, we take the largest banks in six relatively advanced countries, namely, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania.Income and balance sheet characteristics are compared across four bank ownership types.Efficiency measures are computed from stochastic frontiers and used in ownership and privatization regressions having dummy variables for bank type.Our empirical results support the hypotheses that foreign-owned banks are most efficient and government-owned banks are least efficient. In addition, the importance of attracting a strategic foreign owner in the privatization process is confirmed.However, counter to the conjecture that foreign banks cream skim, we find that domestic banks have a local advantage in pursuing fee-for-service business. Finally, we show that both the method and the timing of privatization matter to efficiency; specifically, voucher privatization does not lead to increased efficiency and early-privatized banks are more efficient than later-privatized banks even though we find no evidence of a selection effect.JEL Classifications: P30, P34, and P52