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Deregulation, Consolidation, and Efficiency: Evidence From the Spanish Insurance Industry

  • J. David Cummins
  • Maria Rubio-Misas

This paper provides new information on the effects of deregulation and consolidation in financial services markets by analyzing the Spanish insurance industry. The sample period 1989-1998 spans the introduction of the European Union’s Third Generation Insurance Directives, which deregulated the EU insurance market. Deregulation has led to dramatic changes in the Spanish insurance market; the number of firms declined by 35 percent and average firm size increased by 275 percent. We analyze the causes and effects of consolidation using modern frontier efficiency analysis to estimate cost, technical, and allocative efficiency, as well as using Malmquist analysis to measure total factor productivity change. The results show that many small, inefficient, and financially under-performing firms were eliminated from the market due to insolvency or liquidation and that acquirers in the mergers and acquisitions market prefer relatively efficient target firms. As a result, the market experienced significant growth in total factor productivity over the sample period. Consolidation reduced the number of firms operating with increasing returns to scale but also increased the number operating with decreasing returns to scale. Hence, many large firms should focus on improving efficiency rather than on further growth.

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File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/02/0201.pdf
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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 02-01.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:02-01
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  1. Berger, Allen N & Cummins, J David & Weiss, Mary A, 1997. "The Coexistence of Multiple Distribution Systems for Financial Services: The Case of Property-Liability Insurance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(4), pages 515-46, October.
  2. Hugo Fuentes & Emili Grifell-Tatjé & Sergio Perelman, 2001. "A Parametric Distance Function Approach for Malmquist Productivity Index Estimation," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 79-94, March.
  3. Allen N. Berger, 2000. "The integration of the financial services industry: where are the efficiencies?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. F. Fecher & D. Kessler & S. Perelman & P. Pestieau, 1993. "Productive performance of the French insurance industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 77-93, June.
  5. Subal C. Kumbhakar & Ana Lozano-Vivas & C. A. Knox Lovell & Iftekhar Hasan, 1999. "The Effects of Deregulation on the Performance of Financial Institutions: The Case of Spanish Savings Banks," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-064, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  6. J. David Cummins & Hongmin Zi, 1997. "Comparison of Frontier Efficiency Methods: An Application to the U.S. Life Insurance Industry," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-03, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Bernhard Mahlberg & Thomas Url, 2003. "Effects of the single market on the Austrian insurance industry," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 813-838, November.
  8. Allen N. Berger & Anil K. Kashyap & Joseph M. Scalise, 1995. "The Transformation of the U.S. Banking Industry: What a Long, Strange Trips It's Been," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 55-218.
  9. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: international survey and directions for future research," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1990. "Measurement and efficiency issues in commercial banking," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 151, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  12. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-49, June.
  13. Dekle, Robert, 1998. "The Japanese "Big Bang" financial reforms and market implications," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 237-249.
  14. J. David Cummins & Mary A. Weiss & Hongmin Zi, 1998. "Organizational form and efficiency: an analysis of stock and mutual property-liability insurers," Working Papers 98-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. James R. Barth & R. Dan Brumbaugh & James A. Wilcox, 2000. "Policy Watch: The Repeal of Glass-Steagall and the Advent of Broad Banking," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 191-204, Spring.
  16. Fare, Rolf & Shawna Grosskopf & Mary Norris & Zhongyang Zhang, 1994. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 66-83, March.
  17. Bernhard Mahlberg & Thomas Url, . "The Transition to the Single Market in the German Insurance Industry," WIFO Working Papers 131, WIFO.
  18. Berger, Allen N. & Demsetz, Rebecca S. & Strahan, Philip E., 1999. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: Causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 135-194, February.
  19. Pulley, Lawrence B & Humphrey, David B, 1993. "The Role of Fixed Costs and Cost Complementarities in Determining Scope Economies and the Cost of Narrow Banking Proposals," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(3), pages 437-62, July.
  20. Cummins, J. David & Weiss, Mary A., 1993. "Measuring cost efficiency in the property-liability insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 463-481, April.
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