Market structure and the nature of price rigidity: evidence from the market for consumer deposits
Panel data on consumer bank deposit interest rates reveal asymmetric impacts of market concentration on the dynamic adjustment of prices to shocks. Banks in concentrated markets are slower to raise interest rates on deposits in response to rising market interest rates, but are faster to reduce them in response to declining market interest rates. Thus, banks with market power skim off surplus on movements in both directions. Since deposit interest rates are inversely related to the price charged by banks for deposits, the results suggest that downward price rigidity and upward price flexibility are a consequence of market concentration.
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