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Competition and Critical Mass

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  • Bos Jaap W.B.
  • Ling Chan Yee
  • Kolari James W
  • Yuan Jiang

    (METEOR)

Abstract

Empirical literature and related legal practice using concentration as a proxy for competition measurement are prone to a fallacy of division, as concentration measures are appropriate for perfect competition and perfect collusion but not intermediate levels of competition. Extending the classic Cournot-type competition model of Cowling and Waterson (1976) and Cowling (1976) used to derive the Hirschman-Herfindahl Index (HHI) of market concentration, we propose an adaptation of this model that allows collusive rents for all, none, or some of the firms in a market. Application of our model and new critical mass measures to data for U.S. commercial banks in the period 1984-2004 confirms that concentration measures are unreliable competition metrics. Our results lead us to conclude that critical mass is a promising new market power metric for competition analyses. Policy and future research implications are briefly discussed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 063.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2010063

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Keywords: microeconomics ;

References

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  1. R. Alton Gilbert & Adam M. Zaretsky, 2003. "Banking antitrust: are the assumptions still valid?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 29-52.
  2. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Engel, Eduardo M. R. A., 1993. "Microeconomic rigidities and aggregate price dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 697-711, May.
  3. Boone, Jan, 2004. "A New Way to Measure Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 4330, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jaap W. B. Bos & James W. Kolari, 2005. "Large Bank Efficiency in Europe and the United States: Are There Economic Motivations for Geographic Expansion in Financial Services?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1555-1592, July.
  5. Howitt, Peter & Griffith, Rachel & Aghion, Philippe & Blundell, Richard & Bloom, Nick, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," Scholarly Articles 4481507, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Allen N. Berger & Timothy H. Hannan, 1987. "The price-concentration relationship in banking," Research Papers in Banking and Financial Economics 100, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Evans, William N & Kessides, Ioannis N, 1993. "Localized Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 66-75, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Cowling, Keith & Waterson, Michael, 1976. "Price-Cost Margins and Market Structure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(171), pages 267-74, August.
  10. Bos, Jaap W.B. & Kolari, James W. & van Lamoen, Ryan C.R., 2013. "Competition and innovation: Evidence from financial services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1590-1601.
  11. Cowling, Keith, 1976. "On the theoretical specification of industrial structure-performance relationships," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14, June.
  12. Aghion, Philippe, et al, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 467-92, July.
  13. Goppelsroeder, M. & Schinkel, M.P. & Tuinstra, J., 2006. "Quantifying the Scope for Efficiency Defense in Merger Control: The Werden-Froeb-Index," CeNDEF Working Papers 06-09, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  14. Berger, Allen N, et al, 2004. "Bank Concentration and Competition: An Evolution in the Making," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 433-51, June.
  15. Berger, Allen N, 1995. "The Profit-Structure Relationship in Banking--Tests of Market-Power and Efficient-Structure Hypotheses," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 404-31, May.
  16. Goldberg, Lawrence G. & Rai, Anoop, 1996. "The structure-performance relationship for European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 745-771, May.
  17. Allen N. Berger & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine & Joseph G. Haubrich, 2004. "Introduction: Bank concentration and competition: an evolution in the making," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 433-451.
  18. Adelman, M A, 1969. "Comment on the "H" Concentration Measure as a Numbers-Equivalent," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(1), pages 99-101, February.
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