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Bank Risk-Taking and Competition Revisited

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  • Gianni De Nicolo
  • John H. Boyd

Abstract

This study reinvestigates the theoretical relationship between competition in banking and banks' exposure to risk of failure. There is a large existing literature that concludes that when banks are confronted with increased competition, they rationally choose more risky portfolios. We briefly review this literature and argue that it has had a significant influence on regulators and central bankers, causing them to take a less favorable view of competition and encouraging anti-competitive consolidation as a response to banking instability. We then show that existing theoretical analyses of this topic are fragile, since they do not detect two fundamental risk-incentive mechanisms that operate in exactly the opposite direction, causing banks to aquire more risk per portfolios as their markets become more concentrated. We argue that these mechanisms should be essential ingredients of models of bank competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Gianni De Nicolo & John H. Boyd, 2003. "Bank Risk-Taking and Competition Revisited," IMF Working Papers 03/114, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Repullo, Rafael, 2004. "Capital requirements, market power, and risk-taking in banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 156-182, April.
    2. Boyd, John H. & Chang, Chun & Smith, Bruce D., 2002. "Deposit insurance: a reconsideration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1235-1260, September.
    3. Elena Carletti & Philipp Hartmann, 2003. "Competition and stability: what's special about banking?," Chapters,in: Monetary History, Exchange Rates and Financial Markets, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Chang, Chun, 1999. "Capital structure as optimal contracts," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 363-385.
    5. White, Michelle J, 1983. " Bankruptcy Costs and the New Bankruptcy Code," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 477-488, May.
    6. Edward J. Kane, 2000. "Incentives for banking megamergers: what motives might regulators infer from event-study evidence?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 671-705.
    7. Daniel M. Covitz & Erik Heitfield, 1999. "Monitoring, moral hazard, and market power: a model of bank lending," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Marshall, David A. & Prescott, Edward Simpson, 2001. "Bank capital regulation with and without state-contingent penalties," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 139-184, June.
    9. Gorton, Gary & Winton, Andrew, 2003. "Financial intermediation," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 431-552 Elsevier.
    10. Keeley, Michael C, 1990. "Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1183-1200, December.
    11. Kareken, John H & Wallace, Neil, 1978. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Regulation: A Partial-Equilibrium Exposition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 413-438, July.
    12. Kevin C. Murdock & Thomas F. Hellmann & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Liberalization, Moral Hazard in Banking, and Prudential Regulation: Are Capital Requirements Enough?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 147-165, March.
    13. Gianni De Nicolo, 2000. "Size, charter value and risk in banking: an international perspective," International Finance Discussion Papers 689, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Damjanovic, Vladislav, 2013. "Endogenous risk in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 220-223.
    2. Hakenes, Hendrik & Schnabel, Isabel, 2010. "Banks without parachutes: Competitive effects of government bail-out policies," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 156-168, September.
    3. Hakenes, Hendrik & Schnabel, Isabel, 2010. "Banks without parachutes: Competitive effects of government bail-out policies," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 156-168, September.
    4. de la Torre, Augusto & Ize, Alain, 2013. "The foundations of macroprudential regulation : a conceptual roadmap," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6575, The World Bank.
    5. Noy, Ilan, 2004. "Financial liberalization, prudential supervision, and the onset of banking crises," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 341-359, September.

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