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.
State-owned banks may help to soften the financing constraints of public sector entities and consequently become a factor that hampers fiscal discipline. Using a panel dataset, we find that a larger presence of state-owned banks in the banking system is associated with more credit to the public sector, larger fiscal deficits, higher public debt ratios, and the crowding out of credit to the private sector. These results suggest that the lending practices of state-owned banks should be carefully assessed in any strategy to pursue fiscal discipline.