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New Estimates of the Lerner Index of Market Power for U.S. Banks

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Abstract

The Lerner index is widely used to assess firms' market power. However, estimation and interpretation present several challenges, especially for banks, which tend to produce multiple outputs and operate with considerable inefficiency. We estimate Lerner indices for U.S. banks for 2001-18 using nonparametric estimators of the underlying cost and profit functions, controlling for inefficiency, and incorporating banks' off-balance-sheet activities. We find that mis-specification of cost or profit functional forms can seriously bias Lerner index estimates, as can failure to account for inefficiency and off-balance-sheet output.

Suggested Citation

  • David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2019. "New Estimates of the Lerner Index of Market Power for U.S. Banks," Working Papers 2019-012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 19 Feb 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2019-012
    DOI: 10.20955/wp.2019.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Koetter & James W. Kolari & Laura Spierdijk, 2012. "Enjoying the Quiet Life under Deregulation? Evidence from Adjusted Lerner Indices for U.S. Banks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 462-480, May.
    2. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    3. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul W. Wilson & Shirong Zhao, 2022. "Evidence from shadow price of equity on “Too-Big-to-Fail” Banks," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 23-40, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lerner index; banks; market power; nonparametric regressions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • 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

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