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Banking antitrust: are the assumptions still valid?


  • R. Alton Gilbert
  • Adam M. Zaretsky


In bank antitrust analyses, banking regulators rely on certain assumptions about products and services of banks, the markets in which they operate, competitors within those markets, and the effects of mergers or acquisitions on those markets. During the 1990s, financial innovation and changes in banking regulations changed the landscape in which banks compete. Consequently, the assumptions behind antitrust analyses have come into question. This article surveys recent studies relevant for assessing the validity of the assumptions that underlie banking antitrust. Most of the evidence supports the current assumptions; however, some of the evidence does call them into question.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2003:i:nov:p:29-52:n:v.85no.6

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    1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    3. Elizabeth E. Bailey, 2002. "Aviation Policy: Past and Present," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 12-20, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michiel Bijlsma & Andrei Dubovik, 2014. "Banks, Financial Markets and Growth in Developed Countries: a Survey of the empirical literature," CPB Discussion Paper 266, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Mitchener, Kris James & Wheelock, David C., 2013. "Does the structure of banking markets affect economic growth? Evidence from U.S. state banking markets," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 161-178.
    3. Florian LEON, 2015. "What do we know about the role of bank competition in Africa?," Working Papers 201516, CERDI.
    4. Carletti, Elena & Hartmann, Philipp & Ongena, Steven, 2007. "The economic impact of merger control: what is special about banking?," Working Paper Series 786, European Central Bank.
    5. John R. Walter & Patricia E. Wescott, 2008. "Antitrust analysis in banking : goals, methods, and justifications in a changed environment," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 45-72.
    6. David C. Wheelock, 2011. "Banking industry consolidation and market structure: impact of the financial crisis and recession," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 419-438.
    7. Agostino, Mariarosaria & Gagliardi, Francesca & Trivieri, Francesco, 2010. "Credit market structure and bank screening: An indirect test on Italian data," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 151-160, October.
    8. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2011. "Are Credit Unions Too Small?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1343-1359, November.
    9. Rosen, Richard J., 2007. "Banking market conditions and deposit interest rates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3862-3884, December.
    10. Trivieri, Francesco, 2007. "Does cross-ownership affect competition?: Evidence from the Italian banking industry," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 79-101, February.
    11. Mariarosaria Agostino & Francesco Trivieri, 2010. "Is banking competition beneficial to SMEs? An empirical study based on Italian data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 335-355, October.
    12. Guillermo Baquero & Malika Hamadi & Andréas Heinen, 2012. "Competition, loan rates and information dispersion in microcredit markets," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-12-02, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
    13. Georgios E. Chortareas & Claudia Girardone & Jesus Gustavo Garza-Garcia, 2010. "Banking Sector Performance in Some Latin American Countries: Market Power versus Efficiency," Working Papers 2010-20, Banco de México.
    14. Depken II, Craig A. & Hollans, Harris & Swidler, Steve, 2010. "Do tax benefits conferred to Sub-S banks affect their deposit or loan rates?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 238-245, December.
    15. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2009. "Are U.S. banks too large?," Working Papers 2009-054, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    16. Ion Lapteacru, 2012. "Assessing lending market concentration in Bulgaria: the application of a new measure of concentration," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 9(1), pages 79-102, April.
    17. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2009. "Robust, dynamic nonparametric benchmarking: the evolution of cost-productivity and efficiency among U.S. credit unions," Working Papers 2009-008, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    18. Bos Jaap W.B. & Ling Chan Yee & Kolari James W & Yuan Jiang, 2010. "Competition and Critical Mass," Research Memorandum 063, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    19. Wang, Zhu & Wolman, Alexander L., 2016. "Payment choice and currency use: Insights from two billion retail transactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 94-115.

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