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Bank diversification, market structure and bank risk taking: theory and evidence from U.S. commercial banks

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  • Martin Goetz

Abstract

This paper studies how a bank’s diversification affects its own risk taking behavior and the risk taking of competing, nondiversified banks. By combining theories of bank organization, market structure and risk taking, I show that greater geographic diversification of banks changes a bank’s lending behavior and market interest rates, which also has ramifications for nondiversified competitors due to interactions in the banking market. Empirical results obtained from the U.S. commercial banking sector support this relationship as they indicate that a bank’s risk taking is lower when its competitors have a more diversified branch network. By utilizing the state-specific timing of a removal of intrastate branching restrictions in two identification strategies, I further pin down a causal relationship between the diversification of competitors and a bank’s risk taking behavior. These findings indicate that a bank’s diversification also impacts the risk taking of competitors, even if these banks are not diversifying their activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Goetz, 2012. "Bank diversification, market structure and bank risk taking: theory and evidence from U.S. commercial banks," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU12-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbqu:qau12-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Carlson & Kris James Mitchener, 2009. "Branch Banking as a Device for Discipline: Competition and Bank Survivorship during the Great Depression," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 165-210, April.
    2. Jose M. Liberti & Atif R. Mian, 2009. "Estimating the Effect of Hierarchies on Information Use," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4057-4090, October.
    3. Andrew Hertzberg & Jose Maria Liberti & Daniel Paravisini, 2010. "Information and Incentives Inside the Firm: Evidence from Loan Officer Rotation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 795-828, June.
    4. Elena Loukoianova & Gianni De Nicolo & John H. Boyd, 2009. "Banking Crises and Crisis Dating; Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 09/141, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Bongini, Paola & Laeven, Luc & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2002. "How good is the market at assessing bank fragility? A horse race between different indicators," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1011-1028, May.
    6. Charles W. Calomiris & Joseph R. Mason, 2000. "Causes of U.S. Bank Distress During the Depression," NBER Working Papers 7919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2004. "Information and bank credit allocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 185-214, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. David VanHoose, 2013. "Implications of Shifting Retail Market Shares for Loan Monitoring in a Dominant-Bank Model," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(3), pages 291-316, July.
    2. Alexey Levkov, 2010. "Branching of banks and union decline," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU10-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Sanjukta Sarkar & Rudra Sensarma, 2016. "The relationship between competition and risk-taking behaviour of Indian banks," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 8(1), pages 95-119, April.
    4. Céline Meslier-Crouzille & Donald P. Morgan & Katherine Samolyk & Amine Tarazi, 2014. "The Benefits of Intrastate and Interstate Geographic Diversification in Banking," Working Papers hal-00950504, HAL.
    5. Meslier, Céline & Morgan, Donald P. & Samolyk, Katherine & Tarazi, Amine, 2016. "The benefits and costs of geographic diversification in banking," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 287-317.
    6. Fang, Yiwei & Hasan, Iftekhar & Marton, Katherin, 2014. "Institutional development and bank stability: Evidence from transition countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 160-176.
    7. Reint Gropp & Christian Gruendl & Andre Guettler, 2014. "The Impact of Public Guarantees on Bank Risk-Taking: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(2), pages 457-488.
    8. Céline Meslier-Crouzille & Donald P. Morgan & Katherine Samolyk & Amine Tarazi, 2015. "The Benefits of Geographic Diversification in Banking," Working Papers hal-01155170, HAL.

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    Keywords

    Risk ; Banks and banking ; Bank competition;

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