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How does competition impact bank risk-taking?

  • Gabriel Jiménez
  • Jose A. Lopez
  • Jesús Saurina

A common assumption in the academic literature and in the actual supervision of banking systems worldwide is that franchise value plays a key role in limiting bank risk-taking. As the underlying source of franchise value is assumed to be market power, reduced competition has been considered to promote banking stability. Boyd and De Nicolo (2005) propose an alternative view where concentration in the loan market could lead to increased borrower debt loads and a corresponding increase in loan defaults that undermine bank stability. Martinez-Miera and Repullo (2007) encompass both approaches by proposing a nonlinear relationship between competition and bank risk-taking. Using unique datasets for the Spanish banking system, we examine the empirical nature of that relationship. After controlling for macroeconomic conditions and bank characteristics, we find that standard measures of market concentration do not affect the ratio of non-performing commercial loans (NPL), our measure of bank risk. However, using Lerner indexes based on bank-specific interest rates, we find a negative relationship between loan market power and bank risk. This result provides evidence in favor of the franchise value paradigm.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2007-23.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2007-23
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  1. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 2004. "Competition and Financial Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 453-80, June.
  2. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2003. "Bank Concentration and Crises," NBER Working Papers 9921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2003. "What drives bank competition? some international evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3113, The World Bank.
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  10. Gianni De Nicoló & Abu M. Jalal & John H. Boyd, 2006. "Bank Risk-Taking and Competition Revisited; New Theory and New Evidence," IMF Working Papers 06/297, International Monetary Fund.
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  12. Berger, Allen N, et al, 2004. "Bank Concentration and Competition: An Evolution in the Making," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 433-51, June.
  13. John H. Boyd & Gianni De Nicolã, 2005. "The Theory of Bank Risk Taking and Competition Revisited," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1329-1343, 06.
  14. Philipp Hartmann & Elena Carletti, 2002. "Competition and Stability: What's Special about Banking?," FMG Special Papers sp140, Financial Markets Group.
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  17. Vicente Salas & Jesús Saurina, 2002. "Credit Risk in Two Institutional Regimes: Spanish Commercial and Savings Banks," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 203-224, December.
  18. Marcello Bofondi & Giorgio Gobbi, 2004. "Bad Loans and Entry into Local Credit Markets," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 509, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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