Selectivity and Transparency in Social Banking: Evidence from Europe
Journal of Economic Issues, 50(2), 2016, 494-502.
17 Pages Posted: 22 May 2018
Date Written: May 1, 2016
How do social banks signal their social commitment to motivated funders? This paper hypothesizes that two main channels are used, namely selectivity and transparency. We test these predictions using a rich dataset comprising balance-sheet information on 5,000 European banks over the 1998-2013 period. The results suggest that social screening leads social banks to higher project selectivity compared with mainstream banks. Social banks also tend to be more transparent than other banks. However, combining selectivity and transparency can result in excess liquidity. Overall, the empirical findings not only confirm our theoretical hypotheses, but also raise challenging issues on the management of social banks.
Keywords: Social banks, Ethical banks, Social enterprises, Social mission, European banks
JEL Classification: G21, D14, O16
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