Article | Economía | Fall 2012

Foreign Entry and the Mexican Banking System, 1997-2007

by Stephen Haber and Aldo Musacchio


What is the impact of foreign bank entry on the pricing and availability of credit in developing economies? The Mexican banking system provides a quasi-experiment to address this question because in 1997 the Mexican government radically changed the laws governing the foreign ownership of banks: the foreign market share therefore increased five-fold between 1997 and 2007. We construct and analyze a panel of Mexican bank financial data covering this period and find no evidence that foreign entry increases the availability of credit. We also find that switching from domestic to foreign ownership is associated with a decrease in non-performing loans and an increase in interest rate spreads, suggesting that foreign concerns bought domestic banks that had been making loans with low interest rates to parties that had a low probability of repayment.

Keywords: Banks and Banking; Ownership; Foreign Direct Investment; Laws and Statutes; Developing Countries and Economies; Banking Industry; Mexico;


Haber, Stephen, and Aldo Musacchio. "Foreign Entry and the Mexican Banking System, 1997-2007." Economía 13, no. 1 (Fall 2012): 13–37.