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Competition and stability: what's special about banking?

  • Carletti, Elena
  • Hartmann, Philipp

This paper examines the relationship between competition policies and policies to preserve stability in the banking sector. Market structures and the relative importance of the three classical antitrust areas for banking are discussed, showing the predominance of merger review considerations for loan and deposit markets as well as the relevance of cartel considerations for payment systems. A core part of the paper is an analysis of the relative roles of competition and supervisory authorities in the review of bank mergers for the G-7 industrialised countries. A wide variety of approaches emerges, with some countries giving a stronger role to prudential supervisors than to competition authorities and other countries doing it the other way round. In search for explanations for this diversity the theoretical and empirical literature on the competition-stability nexus in banking is surveyed. It turns out that the widely accepted trade-off between competition and stability does not generally hold. JEL Classification: G21, G28, G34, K21, L4

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0146.

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Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20020146
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  1. W. Bolt & A.F. Tieman, 2001. "Banking competition, risk and regulation," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 70, Netherlands Central Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
  4. Benston, George J & Hunter, William C & Wall, Larry D, 1995. "Motivations for Bank Mergers and Acquisitions: Enhancing the Deposit Insurance Put Option versus Earnings Diversification," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 777-88, August.
  5. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1998. "Financial Contagion," Working Papers 98-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Michael D. Bordo & Hugh Rockoff & Angela Redish, 1993. "A Comparison of the United States and Canadian Banking Systems in the Twentieth Century: Stability vs. Efficiency?," NBER Working Papers 4546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Elena Carletti, 1999. "Bank Moral Hazard and Market Discipline," FMG Discussion Papers dp326, Financial Markets Group.
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