Does the Form of Ownership Affect Firm Performance? Evidence From US Bank Profit Efficiency Before and During the Financial Crisis

Document Type


Publication Title

The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance

Publication Date



W. Fielding Rubel School of Business


Department of Economics


We examine the effect of the form of ownership on the profit efficiency of bank holding companies (BHCs) before and during the US financial crisis. For the pre-crisis period, the difference in profit efficiency between privately held and publicly traded BHCs is small. For the crisis period there is no statistically significant difference. These unexpected results suggest that agency issues do not affect the relative profit efficiency of private and public BHCs, or more likely, that these are offset by pressures for efficiency from capital markets and managerial labor markets and the advantages of specialization, a very important consideration in commercial banking.