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Consumer switching costs and firm pricing: evidence from bank pricing of deposit accounts

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  • Timothy H. Hannan

Abstract

This paper employs extensive information on bank deposit rates and county migration patterns to test for pricing relationships implied by the existence of switching costs. While these relationships are derived formally, the intuition for them can be readily stated. Because some areas experience more in-migration than others, banks, in addressing the trade-off between attracting new customers and exploiting old ones, offer higher deposit rates in areas (and at times) experiencing more in-migration. Further, because out-migration implies that on average a locked-in customer will not be with the bank as many periods, greater out-migration should change the bank’s assessment of this trade-off such that the bank will offer lower deposit rates in areas (and during periods) exhibiting greater out-migration, all else equal. Also, because this effect of out-migration logically depends on the existence and extent of in-migration, an interaction effect is implied. Evidence strongly supporting these implied relationships is reported. Other tests of the implications of switching costs in the banking industry are also conducted.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2008-32.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2008-32

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Keywords: Bank deposits ; Interest rates;

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References

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  1. Beggs, Alan & Klemperer, Paul, 1990. "Multi-Period Competition with Switching Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Berger, Allen N & Hannan, Timothy H, 1989. "The Price-Concentration Relationship in Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 291-99, May.
  3. Paul Klemperer & Joseph Farrell, 2006. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W07, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Timothy H. Hannan & Robin A. Prager, 2001. "The competitive implications of multimarket bank branching," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-43, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Dean F. Amel & Martha Starr-McCluer, 2001. "Market definition in banking: recent evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Timothy H. Hannan & Elizabeth K. Kiser & Robin A. Prager & James J. McAndrews, 2003. "To Surcharge or Not to Surcharge: An Empirical Investigation of ATM Pricing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 990-1002, November.
  7. Moshe Kim & Doron Kliger & Bent Vale, 2001. "Estimating Switching Costs and Oligopolistic Behavior," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-13, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Elizabeth Kiser, 2002. "Predicting Household Switching Behavior and Switching Costs at Depository Institutions," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 349-365, June.
  9. Paul S. Calem & Gerald A. Carlino, 1989. "The concentration/conduct relationship in bank deposit markets," Working Papers 89-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. Klemperer, Paul, 1995. "Competition When Consumers Have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 515-39, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Zhao, Tianshu & Matthews, Kent & Murinde, Victor, 2011. "Cross-Selling, Switching Costs and Imperfect Competition in British Banks," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/29, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  2. Ho, Chun-Yu, 2014. "Switching cost and deposit demand in China," BOFIT Discussion Papers 9/2014, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  3. Robert D. J. Anderson & John Ashton & Robert S. Hudson, 2013. "The Influence of Product Age on Pricing Decisions: An examination of bank deposit interest rate setting," Working Papers 13014, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  4. Brown, Martin & Guin, Benjamin & Morkoetter, Stefan, 2013. "Switching Costs, Deposit Insurance and Deposit Withdrawals from Distressed Banks," Working Papers on Finance 1319, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
  5. Jorge Ale, 2013. "Switching Costs and Introductory Pricing in the Wireless Service Industry," Working Papers 13-17, NET Institute.
  6. Sullivan, Richard J., 2013. "The impact of debit card regulation on checking account fees," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 59-93.

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