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Big Bad Banks? The Winners and Losers from Bank Deregulation in the United States

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  • THORSTEN BECK
  • ROSS LEVINE
  • ALEXEY LEVKOV

Abstract

We assess the impact of bank deregulation on the distribution of income in the United States. From the 1970s through the 1990s, most states removed restrictions on intrastate branching, which intensified bank competition and improved bank performance. Exploiting the cross‐state, cross‐time variation in the timing of branch deregulation, we find that deregulation materially tightened the distribution of income by boosting incomes in the lower part of the income distribution while having little impact on incomes above the median. Bank deregulation tightened the distribution of income by increasing the relative wage rates and working hours of unskilled workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine & Alexey Levkov, 2010. "Big Bad Banks? The Winners and Losers from Bank Deregulation in the United States," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(5), pages 1637-1667, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:5:p:1637-1667
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2010.01589.x
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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