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Market Structure and Risk Taking in the Banking Industry


  • Oz Shy


  • Rune Stenbacka



This study demonstrates that the common view, whereby an increase in competition leads banks to increased risk taking, fails to hold in an environment where consumers can choose in which bank to make a deposit based on their knowledge of the riskiness incorporated in the banks' outstanding loan portfolios.We show that, in the absence of deposit insurance, competition between differentiated banks will increase the returns from diversification.We offer a welfare analysis establishing that introduction of competition into the banking industry can only improve social welfare.However, competition cannot always guarantee that diversification will occur to a socially optimal extent.Finally, we show that deposit insurance would eliminate the beneficial effects of banks competing with asset quality as a strategic instrument. Keywords: Risk taking in banking, banks' portfolio diversification, bank competition, deposit insurance
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Suggested Citation

  • Oz Shy & Rune Stenbacka, 2004. "Market Structure and Risk Taking in the Banking Industry," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 82(3), pages 249-280, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jeczfn:v:82:y:2004:i:3:p:249-280
    DOI: 10.1007/s00712-003-0053-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-159, January.
    2. Basu, Kaushik & Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Mishra, Ajit, 1992. "Notes on bribery and the control of corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 349-359, August.
    3. Michel, Philippe, 1982. "On the Transversality Condition in Infinite Horizon Optimal Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 975-985, July.
    4. Angelo Antoci & Pier Sacco, 1995. "A public contracting evolutionary game with corruption," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 89-122, June.
    5. Marjit, Sugata & Shi, Heling, 1998. "On controlling crime with corrupt officials," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 163-172, January.
    6. Hartl, Richard F., 1987. "A simple proof of the monotonicity of the state trajectories in autonomous control problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 211-215, February.
    7. Feichtinger, Gustav & Wirl, Franz, 1994. "On the stability and potential cyclicity of corruption in governments subject to popularity constraints," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 113-131, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune & Yankov, Vladimir, 2016. "Limited deposit insurance coverage and bank competition," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 95-108.
    2. Craig, Ben R. & Dinger, Valeriya, 2013. "Deposit market competition, wholesale funding, and bank risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3605-3622.
    3. Jost, Peter-J., 2016. "Competitive insurance pricing with complete information, loss-averse utility and finitely many policies," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 11-21.
    4. Fotios Pasiouras & Chrysovalantis Gaganis & Constantin Zopounidis, 2006. "The impact of bank regulations, supervision, market structure, and bank characteristics on individual bank ratings: A cross-country analysis," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 403-438, December.

    More about this item


    risk taking in banking; market structure; bank competition; deposit insurance; G21; G28; E53;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • E53 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Deposit Insurance


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