IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The persistence of bank profits: what the stock market implies


  • Mark E. Levonian


This paper examines the speed with which abnormal economic profits vanish in the U.S. banking industry. A model is developed to infer expected speeds of profit adjustment from stock market and financial accounting data, deriving the rate of adjustment that is most consistent with observed cross-sectional relationships between bank stock prices and profitability. The model allows for the possibility that reported accounting income may be a biased and noisy signal of economic profit. Estimation is performed using generalized nonlinear least squares on a pooled series of cross sections. The results indicate that the expected rate of adjustment tends to be significantly greater than zero, although smaller than adjustment speeds found in studies of nonbank firms. The estimated speed of adjustment for negative profits is greater than for positive profits; for banks with high profit rates, the adjustment speed is near zero, implying that supernormal profits are very long-lived.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark E. Levonian, 1994. "The persistence of bank profits: what the stock market implies," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-17.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1994:p:3-17:n:2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Keeley, Michael C, 1990. "Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1183-1200, December.
    2. James Tobin & William C. Brainard, 1976. "Asset Markets and the Cost of Capital," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 427, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. Geroski, Paul A & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "The Persistence of Profits: A European Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 375-389, June.
    4. Mueller,Dennis C., 2009. "Profits in the Long Run," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521101592, March.
    5. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    6. David Neumark & Steven A. Sharpe, 1992. "Market Structure and the Nature of Price Rigidity: Evidence from the Market for Consumer Deposits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 657-680.
    7. Val Eugene Lambson, 1992. "Competitive Profits in the Long Run," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 125-142.
    8. Flannery, Mark J & James, Christopher M, 1984. " The Effect of Interest Rate Changes on the Common Stock Returns of Financial Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1141-1153, September.
    9. Fisher, Franklin M & McGowan, John J, 1983. "On the Misuse of Accounting Rates of Return to Infer Monopoly Profits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 82-97, March.
    10. Marcus, Alan J & Shaked, Israel, 1984. "The Valuation of FDIC Deposit Insurance Using Option-pricing Estimates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(4), pages 446-460, November.
    11. Ronn, Ehud I & Verma, Avinash K, 1986. " Pricing Risk-Adjusted Deposit Insurance: An Option-Based Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(4), pages 871-895, September.
    12. Hannan, Timothy H & Berger, Allen N, 1991. "The Rigidity of Prices: Evidence from the Banking Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 938-945, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. McMillan, David G. & McMillan, Fiona J., 2017. "The interaction between risk, return-risk trade-off and complexity: Evidence and policy implications for US bank holding companies," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 103-113.
    2. Yvonne J. Acheampong & James E. Epperson & Timothy A. Park & Lewell F. Gunter, 2004. "Profitability adjustment patterns in international food and consumer products industries," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 31-43.
    3. Barry L. Bayus & Gary Erickson & Robert Jacobson, 2003. "The Financial Rewards of New Product Introductions in the Personal Computer Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(2), pages 197-210, February.
    4. Acheampong, Yvonne J. & Epperson, James E., 1998. "International Variation Of Return On Equity In The Food And Beverage Industries," Faculty Series 16690, University of Georgia, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1994:p:3-17:n:2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Research Library). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.