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The “risk-adjusted” price-concentration relationship in banking

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  • Elijah Brewer, III
  • William E. Jackson, III
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    Abstract

    Price-concentration studies in banking typically find a significant and negative relationship between consumer deposit rates (i.e., prices) and market concentration. This relationship implies that highly concentrated banking markets are “bad” for depositors. It also provides support for the Structure-Conduct-Performance hypothesis and rejects the Efficient-Structure hypothesis. However, these studies have focused almost exclusively on supply-side control variables and have neglected demand-side variables when estimating the reduced form price-concentration relationship. For example, previous studies have not included in their analysis bank-specific risk variables as measures of cross-sectional derived deposit demand. The authors find that when bank-specific risk variables are included in the analysis the magnitude of the relationship between deposit rates and market concentration decreases by over 50 percent. They offer an explanation for these results based on the correlation between a bank’s risk profile and the structure of the market in which it operates. These results suggest that it may be necessary to reconsider the well-established assumption that higher market concentration necessarily leads to anticompetitive deposit pricing behavior by commercial banks. This finding has direct implications for the antitrust evaluations of bank merger and acquisition proposals by regulatory agencies. And, in a more general sense, these results suggest that any Structure-Conduct-Performance-based study that does not explicitly consider the possibility of very different risk profiles of the firms analyzed may indeed miss a very important set of explanatory variables. And, thus, the results from those studies may be spurious.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2004-35.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2004-35

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    1. Daskin, Alan J. & Wolken, John D., 1989. "An empirical investigation of the critical herfindahl index in banking," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 95-105, May.
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
    3. Paul S. Calem & Gerald A. Carlino, 1989. "The concentration/conduct relationship in bank deposit markets," Working Papers 89-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    4. Sam Peltzman, 1998. "Prices Rise Faster Than They Fall," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 142, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    5. Hannan, Timothy H & Hanweck, Gerald A, 1988. "Bank Insolvency Risk and the Market for Large Certificates of Deposit," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 203-11, May.
    6. Sam Peltzman, 1977. "The Gains and Losses From Industrial Concentration," NBER Working Papers 0163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Bhattacharya Sudipto & Thakor Anjan V., 1993. "Contemporary Banking Theory," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 2-50, October.
    8. Flannery, Mark J, 1982. "Retail Bank Deposits as Quasi-Fixed Factors of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 527-36, June.
    9. Hannan, Timothy H & Berger, Allen N, 1991. "The Rigidity of Prices: Evidence from the Banking Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 938-45, September.
    10. Gilbert, R Alton, 1984. "Bank Market Structure and Competition: A Survey," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(4), pages 617-44, November.
    11. Ellis, David M. & Flannery, Mark J., 1992. "Does the debt market assess large banks, risk? : Time series evidence from money center CDs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 481-502, December.
    12. Neumark, David & Sharpe, Steven A, 1992. "Market Structure and the Nature of Price Rigidity: Evidence from the Market for Consumer Deposits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 657-80, May.
    13. Heggestad, Arnold A, 1977. "Market Structure, Risk and Profitability in Commercial Banking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1207-16, September.
    14. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
    15. Sherrill Shaffer, 1994. "Bank competition in concentrated markets," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Mar, pages 3-16.
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