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Business cycles: a role for imperfect competition in the banking system

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  • Federico S. Mandelman

Abstract

This paper studies the cyclical pattern of ex post markups in the banking system using balance-sheet data for a large set of countries. Markups are strongly countercyclical even after controlling for financial development, banking concentration, operational costs, inflation, and simultaneity or reverse causation. The countercyclical pattern is explained by the procyclical entry of foreign banks, which occurs mostly at the wholesale level and signals the intention to spread to the retail level. My hypothesis is that wholesale entry triggers incumbents' limit-pricing strategies, which are aimed at deterring entry into retail niches and which, in turn, dampen bank markups. In the second part of the paper, I develop a general equilibrium model that accounts for these features of the data. I find that this monopolistic behavior in the intermediary financial sector increases the volatility of real variables and amplifies the business cycle. I interpret this bank-supply channel as an extension of the credit channel pioneered by Bernanke and Blinder (1988).

Suggested Citation

  • Federico S. Mandelman, 2006. "Business cycles: a role for imperfect competition in the banking system," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-21
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivero, María Pía, 2010. "Market power in banking, countercyclical margins and the international transmission of business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 292-301, March.
    2. Gerke, R. & Jonsson, M. & Kliem, M. & Kolasa, M. & Lafourcade, P. & Locarno, A. & Makarski, K. & McAdam, P., 2013. "Assessing macro-financial linkages: A model comparison exercise," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 253-264.
    3. Franziska Bremus, 2011. "Financial Integration and Macroeconomic Stability: What Role for Large Banks?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1178, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Matthews, Kent & Murinde, Victor & Zhao, Tianshu, 2007. "Competitive conditions among the major British banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 2025-2042, July.
    5. Bouvatier, Vincent & López-Villavicencio, Antonia & Mignon, Valérie, 2012. "Does the banking sector structure matter for credit procyclicality?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1035-1044.
    6. Javier Andrés & Oscar Arce, 2012. "Banking Competition, Housing Prices and Macroeconomic Stability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(565), pages 1346-1372, December.
    7. Mandelman, Federico S., 2010. "Business cycles and monetary regimes in emerging economies: A role for a monopolistic banking sector," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 122-138, May.
    8. Bremus, Franziska M., 2015. "Cross-border banking, bank market structures and market power: Theory and cross-country evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 242-259.

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