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The dollars and sense of bank consolidation

  • Hughes, Joseph P.
  • Lang, William W.
  • Mester, Loretta J.
  • Moon, Choon-Geol

For nearly two decades banks in the United States have consolidated in record numbers—in terms of both frequency and the size of the merging institutions. Rhoades (1996) hypothesizes that the main motivations were increased potential for geographic expansion created by changes in state laws regulating branching and a more favorable antitrust climate. To look for evidence of economic incentives to exploit these improved opportunities for consolidation, we examine how consolidation affects expected profit, the riskiness of profit, profit efficiency, market value, market-value efficiencies, and the risk of insolvency. Our estimates of expected profit, profit risk, and profit efficiency are based on a structural model of leveraged portfolio production that was estimated for a sample of highest-level U.S. bank holding companies in Hughes, Lang, Mester, and Moon (1996). Here, we also estimate two additional measures that gauge efficiency in terms of the market values of assets and of equity. Our findings suggest that the economic benefits of consolidation are strongest for those banks engaged in interstate expansion and, in particular, interstate expansion that diversifies banks' macroeconomic risk. Not only do these banks experience clear gains in their financial performance, but society also benefits from the enhanced bank safety that follows from this type of consolidation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 23 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2-4 (February)
Pages: 291-324

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:23:y:1999:i:2-4:p:291-324
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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  2. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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  7. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Choon-Geol Moon & Michael S. Pagano, 1999. "Measuring the efficiency of capital allocation in commercial banking," Proceedings 626, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester, 1995. "Recovering technologies that account for generalized managerial preferences: an application to non-risk neutral banks," Working Papers 95-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Jalal D. Akhavein & Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1996. "The Effects of Megamergers on Efficiency and Prices: Evidence from a Bank Profit Function," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-03, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  10. Benston, George J & Hunter, William C & Wall, Larry D, 1995. "Motivations for Bank Mergers and Acquisitions: Enhancing the Deposit Insurance Put Option versus Earnings Diversification," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 777-88, August.
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  14. Chong, Beng Soon, 1991. "The Effects of Interstate Banking on Commercial Banks' Risk and Profitability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 78-84, February.
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  16. Joseph P. Hughes, 1998. "Measuring efficiency when market prices are subject to adverse selection," Working Papers 98-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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  20. Choon-Goel Moon & Joseph P. Hughes, 1997. "Measuring Bank Efficiency When Managers Trade Return for Reduced Risk," Departmental Working Papers 199520, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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