Financial Regulation and Government Revenue: Theeffects of a Policy Change in Ethiopia
31 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016
Date Written: June 28, 2016
Financial regulation affects government revenue whenever it imposes both the mandatory quantity and price of government bonds. This paper studies a banking regulation adopted by the National Bank of Ethiopia in April 2011, which forces all private banks to purchase a fixed negative-yield government bond in proportion to private sector lending. Having access to monthly bank balance sheets, a survey of branch costs and public finances documentation, the effect of the policy on government revenue can be tracked. This is compared to three plausible revenue-generating alternatives: raising funds at competitive rates on international markets; distorting the private lending of the state-owned bank; and raising new deposits through additional branches of the state-owned bank. Three main results emerge: the government revenue gain is moderate (1.5-2.6 percent of the tax revenue); banks comply with the policy and amass more safe assets; banks' profit growth slows without turning negative (from 10 percent to 2 percent).
Keywords: Banks & Banking Reform, Public Sector Economics, Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction, Tax Administration, Tax Law, Revenue Administration
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