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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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  16. Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937, June.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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