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Alternative banking: Theory and evidence from Europe

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by Olivier Butzbach
ECIA Fellow
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 32, No. 4 (129), 2012

Since financial liberalization in the 1980s, non-profit maximizing, stakeholder-oriented banks have outperformed private banks in Europe. This article draws on empirical research, banking theory and theories of the firm to explain this apparent anomaly for neo-liberal policy and contemporary market-based banking theory. The realization of competitive advantages by alternative banks (savings banks, cooperative banks and development banks) has significant implications for conceptions of bank change, regulation and political economy.

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