The Power of Networks: Integration and Financial Cooperative Performance

48 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2005

See all articles by Martin Desrochers

Martin Desrochers

Developpement International Desjardins

Klaus P. Fischer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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The purpose of this paper is to perform a cross-country survey of the level of integration of systems of financial cooperatives (FC) and its effect on measures of performance. We develop a classification scheme based on a theoretical framework that builds on published work using transaction cost economics (TCE) to explain integration of large numbers of financial cooperatives into networks. We identify three critical levels of increasing integration we call respectively atomized systems, consensual networks and strategic networks. Further, we test some of the propositions that result from the theoretical framework on an international sample of financial cooperative systems. Based on this analysis we can conclude that: (i) Integration is less (more) important in developing (more developed) countries and for very small (large) financial cooperatives as a determinant of efficiency. However, integration tends to reduce volatility of efficiency and performance regardless of development. (ii) Integration appears to help control measure of managers' expense preferences that tend to affect performance of FC. (iii) Despite high costs of running hub-like organizations in highly integrated system, these systems economize in bounded rationality and operate at lower costs than less integrated systems.

Suggested Citation

Desrochers, Martin and Fischer, Klaus P., The Power of Networks: Integration and Financial Cooperative Performance. Annals of Public & Cooperative Economics, Vol. 76, No. 3, pp. 307-354, September 2005. Available at SSRN:

Martin Desrochers

Developpement International Desjardins ( email )

Levis G6V 6P8, Quebec

Klaus P. Fischer (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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