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The welfare consequences of ATM surcharges: evidence from a structural entry model

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  • Gautam Gowrisankaran
  • John Krainer

Abstract

We estimate a structural model of the market for automatic teller machines (ATMs) in order to evaluate the implications of regulating ATM surcharges on ATM entry and consumer and producer surplus. We estimate the model using data on firm and consumer locations, and identify the parameters of the model by exploiting a source of local quasi–experimental variation, that the state of Iowa banned ATM surcharges during our sample period while the state of Minnesota did not. We develop new econometric methods that allow us to estimate the parameters of equilibrium models without computing equilibria. Monte Carlo evidence shows that the estimator performs well. We find that a ban on ATM surcharges reduces ATM entry by about 12 percent, increases consumer welfare by about 10 percent and lowers producer profits by about 10 percent. Total welfare remains about the same under regimes that permit or prohibit ATM surcharges and is about 17 percent lower than the surplus maximizing level. This paper can help shed light on the theoretically ambiguous implications of free entry on consumer and producer welfare for differentiated products industries in general and ATMs in particular.

Suggested Citation

  • Gautam Gowrisankaran & John Krainer, 2004. "The welfare consequences of ATM surcharges: evidence from a structural entry model," Working Paper Series 2005-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2005-01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul B. Ellickson & Sanjog Misra, 2008. "Supermarket Pricing Strategies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(5), pages 811-828, 09-10.
    2. Hannan Timothy H. & Borzekowski Ron, 2007. "Incompatibility and Investment in ATM Networks," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-15, March.
    3. Hayashi, Fumiko & Wang, Zhu, 2008. "Product innovation and network survival in the U.S. ATM and debit card network industry," Research Working Paper RWP 08-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, revised 01 Jan 2011.
    4. Zhu Wang & Fumiko Hayashi, 2011. "Product Innovation and Network Survival in the U.S. ATM and Debit Card Industry," 2011 Meeting Papers 725, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Christopher R. Knittel & Victor Stango, 2009. "HOW DOES INCOMPATIBILITY AFFECT PRICES?: EVIDENCE FROM ATM'S -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 557-582, September.
    6. repec:wsi:apjorx:v:29:y:2012:i:01:n:s0217595912400015 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hannan, Timothy H., 2007. "ATM surcharge bans and bank market structure: The case of Iowa and its neighbors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1061-1082, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Automated tellers ; Banks and banking - Service charges;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy

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