The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
There is a concern that the state-dominated, inefficient, and fragile banking systems in many low-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are a major hindrance to economic growth. This paper systematically analyzes the impact of the far-reaching banking sector reforms undertaken in Uganda to improve competition and efficiency. Using models that have been previously used only in industrial countries, we find that the level of competition has increased significantly and has been associated with a rise in efficiency. Moreover, on average, larger banks and foreign-owned banks have become more efficient, while smaller banks have become less efficient in the face of increased competitive pressures.