Political Cycles and Bank Lending in Russia

33 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2021

See all articles by Zuzana Fungáčová

Zuzana Fungáčová

Bank of Finland - Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT)

Koen J. L. Schoors

Ghent University - Centre for Russian International Socio-Political and Economic Studies (CERISE); Ghent University - Department of General Economics

Laura Solanko

Bank of Finland - Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT)

Laurent Weill

University of Strasbourg - LaRGE Research Center (Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie)

Date Written: March 25, 2020

Abstract

State-owned banks tend to increase lending before elections for the purpose of boosting the reelection odds of incumbent politicians. We employ monthly data on individual banks to study whether Russian banks increased their lending before presidential elections during 2004–2019, a period covering four presidential elections. In contrast to the literature, we find that both state-owned and private banks increased their lending before presidential elections. This result stands for all loans, as well as separately for firm and household loans. The pre-election lending surge is followed by a deterioration of loan quality the following year, indicating the lending increase was not driven by higher growth prospects or some positive economic shock. The effect is substantially greater for large banks and banks more involved in lending activities. Our main finding that all types of banks in Russia increase their lending before presidential elections supports the view that the authorities in an electoral autocracy like Russia can influence lending of both private and state-owned banks for political reasons.

JEL Classification: G21, P34

Suggested Citation

Fungacova, Zuzana and Schoors, Koen J. L. and Solanko, Laura and Weill, Laurent, Political Cycles and Bank Lending in Russia (March 25, 2020). BOFIT Discussion Paper No. 8/2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3764763

Zuzana Fungacova (Contact Author)

Bank of Finland - Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT) ( email )

Snellmaninaukio
PO Box 160
Helsinki 00101
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.bof.fi/bofit_en/index.htm

Koen J. L. Schoors

Ghent University - Centre for Russian International Socio-Political and Economic Studies (CERISE) ( email )

Tweekerkenstraat 2
Ghent, 9000
Belgium
+32 9 264 34 78 (Phone)
+32 9 265 35 99 (Fax)

Ghent University - Department of General Economics ( email )

Tweekerkenstraat 2
Ghent, 9000
Belgium
+32 9 264 34 78 (Phone)
+32 9 264 35 99 (Fax)

Laura Solanko

Bank of Finland - Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT) ( email )

Helsinki 00101
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.bof.fi/en/suomen_pankki/organisaatio/asiantuntijoita/solanko_laura/

Laurent Weill

University of Strasbourg - LaRGE Research Center (Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie) ( email )

61 Avenue de la Forêt Noire
F-67085 Strasbourg Cedex
France

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