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Deregulation, Consolidation, and Efficiency: Evidence From the Spanish Insurance Industry

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  • J. David Cummins
  • Maria Rubio-Misas

Abstract

This paper provides new information on the effects of deregulation and consolidation in financial services markets by analyzing the Spanish insurance industry. The sample period 1989-1998 spans the introduction of the European Union’s Third Generation Insurance Directives, which deregulated the EU insurance market. Deregulation has led to dramatic changes in the Spanish insurance market; the number of firms declined by 35 percent and average firm size increased by 275 percent. We analyze the causes and effects of consolidation using modern frontier efficiency analysis to estimate cost, technical, and allocative efficiency, as well as using Malmquist analysis to measure total factor productivity change. The results show that many small, inefficient, and financially under-performing firms were eliminated from the market due to insolvency or liquidation and that acquirers in the mergers and acquisitions market prefer relatively efficient target firms. As a result, the market experienced significant growth in total factor productivity over the sample period. Consolidation reduced the number of firms operating with increasing returns to scale but also increased the number operating with decreasing returns to scale. Hence, many large firms should focus on improving efficiency rather than on further growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 02-01.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:02-01

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Cited by:
  1. Epure, Mircea & Kerstens, Kristiaan & Prior, Diego, 2011. "Technology-based total factor productivity and benchmarking: New proposals and an application," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 608-619, December.
  2. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2010. "Services Trade and Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 642-92, September.
  3. Jacob Bikker & Janko Gorter, 2008. "Performance of the Dutch non-life insurance industry: competition, efficiency and focus," DNB Working Papers 164, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  4. Qichun He, 2011. "Does FDI Promote Human Capital Accumulation? The Role of Gradual Financial Liberalization," CEMA Working Papers 455, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  5. Trigo Gamarra, Lucinda, 2007. "Single- versus multi-channel distribution strategies in the German life insurance market: A cost and profit efficiency analysis," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 81, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.

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