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A Frontier Measure of U.S. Banking Competition

  • Wilko Bolt
  • David Humphrey

The three main measures of competition (HHI, Lerner Index, and H-Statistic) are uncorrelated for U.S. banks. We investigate why this occurs, propose a frontier measure of competition, and apply it to five major bank service lines using data only available since 2008. Fee-based banking services comprise 35% of bank revenues so assessing competition by service line is preferred to using a single measure for traditional activities extended to the entire bank. Academic-based competition measures explain only 1% of HHI variation. HHI merger/acquisition guidelines could be raised since current banking concentration seems unrelated to competition.

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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 359.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:359
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Web page: http://www.dnb.nl/en/

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  1. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2004. "What Drives Bank Competition? Some International Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 563-83, June.
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  9. 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.
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  11. Maudos, Joaquin & Fernandez de Guevara, Juan, 2003. "Factors Explaining the Interest Margin in the Banking Sectors of the European Union," MPRA Paper 15252, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Bolt, Wilko & Humphrey, David, 2010. "Bank competition efficiency in Europe: A frontier approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1808-1817, August.
  13. DeYoung, Robert, 1997. "A diagnostic test for the distribution-free efficiency estimator: An example using U.S. commercial bank data," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 243-249, April.
  14. J.A. Bikker & L. Spierdijk & P. Finnie, 2007. "The Impact of Market Structure, Contestability and Institutional Environment on Banking Competition," Working Papers 07-29, Utrecht School of Economics.
  15. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
  16. Santiago Carbó Valverde & David Humphrey & Rafael López del Paso, 2007. "Opening the black box: Finding the source of cost inefficiency," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 209-220, June.
  17. Lawrence J. Radecki & John Wenninger & Daniel K. Orlow, 1996. "Bank branches in supermarkets," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 2(Dec).
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  19. Gianni De Nicoló & Abu M. Jalal & John H. Boyd, 2006. "Bank Risk-Taking and Competition Revisited; New Theory and New Evidence," IMF Working Papers 06/297, International Monetary Fund.
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