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Branch Banking, Bank Competition, and Financial Stability

  • Carlson, Mark
  • Mitchener, Kris James

It is often argued that branching stabilizes banking systems by facilitating diversification of bank portfolios; however, previous empirical research on the Great Depression offers mixed support for this view. Using data on national banks from the 1920s and 1930s, we show that branch banking raises the level of competition and increases exit from the banking system. This consolidation strengthens the system as a whole without necessarily strengthening the branch banks themselves. Our empirical results suggest that the effects that branching had on competition were quantitatively more important than geographical diversification for bank stability in the 1920s and 1930s.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/mcb.2006.0067
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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 38 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (August)
Pages: 1293-1328

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:38:y:2006:i:5:p:1293-1328
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Mark Carlson, 2001. "Are branch banks better survivors? Evidence from the Depression era," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Allen N. Berger & Anil K. Kashyap & Joseph M. Scalise, 1995. "The Transformation of the U.S. Banking Industry: What a Long, Strange Trips It's Been," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 55-218.
  3. Randall S. Kroszner & Philip E. Strahan, 2000. "Obstacles to Optimal Policy: The Interplay of Politics and Economics in Shaping Bank Supervision and Regulation Reforms," NBER Working Papers 7582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Allen Berger & Timothy Hannan, 1994. "The Efficiency Cost of Market Power in the Banking Industry: A Test of the 'Quiet Life' and Related Hypotheses," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 94-29, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Nicholas Economides & R. Glenn Hubbard & Darius Palia, 1995. "The Political Economy of Branching Restrictions and Deposit Insurance: A Model of Monopolistic Competition among Small and Large Banks," NBER Working Papers 5210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Graciela Kaminsky & Sergio Schmukler, 2003. "Short-Run Pain, Long-Run Gain: The Effects of Financial Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 9787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. DeYoung, Robert & Hasan, Iftekhar & Kirchhoff, Bruce, 1998. "The Impact of Out-of-State Entry on the Cost Efficiency of Local Commercial Banks," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-203, March.
  8. Calomiris, Charles W., 1990. "Is Deposit Insurance Necessary? A Historical Perspective," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(02), pages 283-295, June.
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  10. Berger, Allen N. & Demsetz, Rebecca S. & Strahan, Philip E., 1999. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: Causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 135-194, February.
  11. Jayaratne, Jith & Strahan, Philip E, 1998. "Entry Restrictions, Industry Evolution, and Dynamic Efficiency: Evidence from Commercial Banking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 239-73, April.
  12. Morgan, Donald & Rime, Bertrand & Strahan, Philip E., 2004. "Bank Integration and State Business Cycles," SIFR Research Report Series 30, Institute for Financial Research.
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  14. Demsetz, Rebecca S & Strahan, Philip E, 1997. "Diversification, Size, and Risk at Bank Holding Companies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 300-313, August.
  15. Randall S. Kroszner, 2000. "Obstacles to Optimal Policy: The Interplay of Politics and Economics in Shaping Bank Supervision and Regulation Reforms," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 158, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  16. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 1993. "Explaining bank failures: deposit insurance, regulation, and efficiency," Working Papers 1993-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  17. Koskela, Erkki & Stenbacka, Rune, 2000. "Is there a tradeoff between bank competition and financial fragility?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1853-1873, December.
  18. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  19. Randall S. Kroszner & Philip E. Strahan, 2000. "Obstacles to Optimal Policy: The Interplay of Politics and Economics in Shaping Bank Supervision and Regulation Reforms," CRSP working papers 512, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  20. Randall S. Kroszner & Philip E. Strahan, 1998. "What Drives Deregulation? Economics and Politics of the Relaxation of Bank Branching Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 6637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Matutes, Carmen & Vives, Xavier, 2000. "Imperfect competition, risk taking, and regulation in banking," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-34, January.
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  23. Grossman, Richard S., 1994. "The Shoe That Didn't Drop: Explaining Banking Stability During the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 654-682, September.
  24. Kris James Mitchener, 2004. "Bank Supervision, Regulation, and Instability During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 10475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Wacht, Richard F., 1968. "Branch Banking and Risk," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 97-107, March.
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  27. Lauch, Louis H. & Murphy, Neil B., 1970. "A Test of the Impact of Branching on Deposit Variability," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 323-327, September.
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