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Competition, product differentiation and quality provision: an empirical equilibrium analysis of bank branching decisions

  • Andrew Cohen
  • Michael J. Mazzeo
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    We analyze the effects of market structure on the branching decisions of three types of depository institution: multimarket banks, single-market banks, and thrift institutions. We argue that additional branches increase quality for an institution's consumers, and examine the interaction between market structure and this particular measure of quality. We account for endogenous market structure using an equilibrium structural model, which corrects for bias caused by correlation in the unobservables that may drive entry and branching activity. We estimate the model using data from over 1,750 concentrated rural markets. Our results demonstrate the importance of product differentiation, as competition from multimarket banks is associated with denser branch networks for all types of firm while the opposite correlation holds when competitors are single-market banks or thrifts.

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    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2004-46.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-46
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    1. Cohen, Andrew, 2004. "Market structure and market definition: the case of small market banks and thrifts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 77-83, October.
    2. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
    3. Barros, Pedro Pita, 1995. "Post-entry expansion in banking: The case of Portugal," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 593-611, December.
    4. Kim, Moshe & Vale, Bent, 2001. "Non-price strategic behavior: the case of bank branches," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 1583-1602, December.
    5. Jayaratne, Jith & Strahan, Philip E, 1996. "The Finance-Growth Nexus: Evidence from Bank Branch Deregulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 639-70, August.
    6. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
    7. Robinson, William T & Chiang, Jeongwen, 1996. "Are Sutton's Predictions Robust?: Empirical Insights into Advertising, R&D, and Concentration," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 389-408, December.
    8. Berry, Steven & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Product Quality and Market Size," Working Papers 1, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    9. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
    10. Ellickson, Paul, 2005. "Supermarkets as a Natural Oligopoly," Working Papers 05-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    11. Schmalensee, Richard, 1979. "Market Structure, Durability, and Quality: A Selective Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(2), pages 177-96, April.
    12. Hannan, Timothy H. & Prager, Robin A., 2004. "The competitive implications of multimarket bank branching," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1889-1914, August.
    13. Vittoria Cerasi & Barbara Chizzolini & Marc Ivaldi, 2002. "Branching and competition in the European banking industry," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(17), pages 2213-2225.
    14. A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn.
    15. Jayaratne, Jith & Strahan, Philip E, 1998. "Entry Restrictions, Industry Evolution, and Dynamic Efficiency: Evidence from Commercial Banking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 239-73, April.
    16. Andrew Cohen, 2004. "Market structure and market definition: the case of small market banks and thrifts," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-02, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    17. Randal Watson, 2004. "Product variety and competition in the retail market for eyeglasses," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 298, Econometric Society.
    18. Robert M. Adams & Kenneth P. Brevoort & Elizabeth K. Kiser, 2005. "Who competes with whom? the case of depository institutions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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