S&L Performance Persistence: Moral Hazard and Market Discipline

Cooperman, Elizabeth S. with Sinan Cebenoyan and Charles A. Register
Managerial Finance Special Issue on Performance of Financial Service Institutions Vol. 30, Issue 9, p. 56-69

This research examines for performance persistence for the U.S. thrift industry during 1989 to 1994. Results indicate significant performance persistence, with firms in the sample 16 times more likely ot remain in an initial position as a winner or loser than to switch. Consistent with a moral hazard hypothesis, persistent losers exhibit low charter values and greater risk-taking behaviour with the opposite relations for persistent winners. We also find persistent losers to have a significantly higher probability of subsequent takeover, suggesting an effective takeover market for disciplining poor performers.