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Bank Concentration and Retail Interest Rates

  • Corvoisier, Sandrine
  • Gropp, Reint

The recent wave of mergers in the euro area raises the question, whether the increase in concentration has at least in part offset the increase in competition in European banking through deregulation. We test this question by estimating a simple Cournot model of bank pricing. We construct country and product specific measures of bank concentration and find that for loans and demand deposits, increasing concentration may have resulted in less competitive pricing by banks, whereas for savings and time deposits, the model is rejected, suggesting increases in contestability and/ or efficiency in these markets. These findings are robust across a wide variety of econometric specifications. Finally, the paper discusses some implications for tests of the effect of concentration on monetary policy transmission JEL Classification: L13, G21, B43

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0072.

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Date of creation: Jul 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20010072
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  1. Hannan, Timothy H., 1991. "Bank commercial loan markets and the role of market structure: evidence from surveys of commercial lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 133-149, February.
  2. Panzar, John C & Rosse, James N, 1987. "Testing for "Monopoly" Equilibrium," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 443-56, June.
  3. Berger, Allen N & Hannan, Timothy H, 1989. "The Price-Concentration Relationship in Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 291-99, May.
  4. Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 1997. "Can Competition in the Credit Market be Excessive?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. 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 938-45, September.
  8. Amel, Dean F. & Hannan, Timothy H., 1999. "Establishing banking market definitions through estimation of residual deposit supply equations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(11), pages 1667-1690, November.
  9. J.A. Bikker & K. Haaf, 2001. "Competition, Concentration and their Relationship: an EmpiricalAnalysis of the Banking Industry," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 68, Netherlands Central Bank.
  10. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1982. "The oligopoly solution concept is identified," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 87-92.
  11. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-43, May.
  12. D'Auria, Claudio & Foglia, Antonella & Reedtz, Paolo Marullo, 1999. "Bank interest rates and credit relationships in Italy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 1067-1093, July.
  13. Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937, June.
  14. Startz, Richard, 1983. "Competition and Interest Rate Ceilings in Commercial Banking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 255-65, May.
  15. Harhoff, Dietmar & Korting, Timm, 1998. "Lending relationships in Germany - Empirical evidence from survey data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1317-1353, October.
  16. Angeliki Kourelis & Carlo Cottarelli, 1994. "Financial Structure, Bank Lending Rates, and the Transmission Mechanism of Monetary Policy," IMF Working Papers 94/39, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Mojon, Benoît, 2000. "Financial structure and the interest rate channel of ECB monetary policy," Working Paper Series 0040, European Central Bank.
  18. Rhoades, Stephen A., 1993. "Efficiency effects of horizontal (in-market) bank mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 411-422, April.
  19. Davis, E. Philip & De Bandt, Olivier, 1999. "A cross-country comparison of market structures in European banking," Working Paper Series 0007, European Central Bank.
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