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Branch Banking, Bank Competition, and Financial Stability

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  • Mark Carlson
  • Kris James Mitchener

Abstract

It is often argued that branching stabilizes banking systems by facilitating diversification of bank portfolios; however, previous empirical research on the Great Depression offers mixed support for this view. Analyses using state-level data find that states allowing branch banking had lower failure rates, while those examining individual banks find that branch banks were more likely to fail. We argue that an alternative hypothesis can reconcile these seemingly disparate findings. Using data on national banks from the 1920s and 1930s, we show that branch banking increases competition and forces weak banks to exit the banking system. This consolidation strengthens the system as a whole without necessarily strengthening the branch banks themselves. Our empirical results suggest that the effects that branching had on competition were quantitatively more important than geographical diversification for bank stability in the 1920s and 1930s.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11291.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Publication status: published as Carlson, Mark and Kris James Mitchener. "Branch Banking, Bank Competition, and Financial Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 2006, v38(5,Aug), 1293-1328.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11291

Note: DAE ME
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Goetz, 2011. "Bank Organization, Market Structure and Risk Taking: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Commercial Banks," NFI Working Papers 2011-WP-11, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
  2. Rungporn Roengpitya, 2008. "The Effects of Financial Deregulation on Bank Governance: The Panel Data Evidence of the 1990s," Working Papers 2008-08, Economic Research Department, Bank of Thailand.
  3. Kris James Mitchener & David C. Wheelock, 2010. "Does the Structure of Banking Markets Affect Economic Growth? Evidence from U.S. State Banking Markets," NBER Working Papers 15710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hasan, Iftekhar & Marinc , Matej, 2013. "Should competition policy in banking be amended during crises? Lessons from the EU," Research Discussion Papers 7/2013, Bank of Finland.
  5. Tetsuji Okazaki & Michiru Sawada, 2006. ""Effects of a bank consolidation promotion policy: Evaluating Bank Law in 1927 Japan" ;forthcoming in Financial History Review (Published in "Financial History Review", April 2007,," CARF F-Series CARF-F-058, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  6. Yuliya Demyanyk, 2006. "U.S. banking deregulation and self-employment: a differential impact on those in need," Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers 2006-01, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Natacha Postel-Vinay, 2011. "From a “normal recession” to the “Great Depression”: finding the turning point in Chicago bank portfolios, 1923-1933," Economic History Working Papers 35518, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  8. John H. Boyd & Gianni De Nicoló & Abu M. Jalal, 2009. "Bank Competition, Risk and Asset Allocations," IMF Working Papers 09/143, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Iulia Iuga, 2013. "Analysis Of The Banking System‘S Concentration Degree In Eu Countries," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 1(15), pages 16.

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