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Market Structure and Risk Taking in the Banking Industry

  • Shy, Oz

    (Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)

  • Stenbacka, Rune


    (Hanken School of Economics)

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This study demonstrates that the common view, whereby an increase in competition leads banks to increased risk taking, fails to hold in an environment where consumers can choose in which bank to make a deposit based on their knowledge of the riskiness incorporated in the banks' outstanding loan portfolios. We show that, in the absence of deposit insurance, competition between differentiated banks will increase the returns from diversification. We offer a welfare analysis establishing that introduction of competition into the banking industry can only improve social welfare. However, competition cannot always guarantee that diversification will occur to a socially optimal extent. Finally, we show that deposit insurance would eliminate the beneficial effects of banks competing with asset quality as a strategic instrument.

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Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 22/1998.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 27 Oct 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofrdp:1998_022
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
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  1. Matutes, Carmen & Vives, Xavier, 2000. "Imperfect competition, risk taking, and regulation in banking," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-34, January.
  2. Sudipto Bhattacharya and Dilip Mookherhee., 1984. "Portfolio Choice in Research and Development," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 147, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Michael H. Riordan, 1992. "Competition and Bank Performance: A Theoretical Perspective," Papers 0026, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2000. "The optimal size of a bank: Costs and benefits of diversification," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1701-1726, October.
  5. Broecker, Thorsten, 1990. "Credit-Worthiness Tests and Interbank Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 429-52, March.
  6. Cordella, Tito & Levy Yeyati, Eduardo, 1998. "Public Disclosure and Bank Failures," CEPR Discussion Papers 1886, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Winton, Andrew, 1997. "Competition among Financial Intermediaries When Diversification Matters," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 307-346, October.
  8. Pagano, Marco & Jappelli, Tullio, 1993. " Information Sharing in Credit Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1693-1718, December.
  9. Matutes, Carmen & Vives, Xavier, 1996. "Competition for Deposits, Fragility, and Insurance," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 184-216, April.
  10. Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 1997. "Can Competition in the Credit Market be Excessive?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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