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Clustering or competition? The foreign investment behaviour of German banks

  • Lipponer, Alexander
  • Buch, Claudia M.

The presence of other firms in a foreign market can have a double-edged effect on the profitability of new entrants. Firstly, a larger presence of other firms implies more competition and thus lowers the earnings prospects of new entrants. Secondly, there might be positive spill-over effects between the activities of new and old entrants, which can lead to clustering effects. Such clustering of firms in foreign markets has been documented in the empirical literature on foreign direct investment (FDI) of nonfinancial firms, but little evidence is available for banks. This paper analyses whether banks have a tendency to cluster abroad and whether smaller banks in particular invest in markets where other banks are already present. We use firm-level evidence on the foreign direct investments of German banks for the period 1997-2000 to test this hypothesis. Our results suggest that German banks are indeed more active in markets in which other German banks are already present. However, once we control for countryfixed effects, the negative competition effect dominates.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2004,06.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:1819
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  1. Claudia M. Buch & Gayle L. DeLong, 2001. "Cross-Border Bank Mergers: What Lures the Rare Animal?," Kiel Working Papers 1070, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Frank Barry & Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2003. "Foreign direct investment, agglomerations, and demonstration effects: An empirical investigation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 139(4), pages 583-600, December.
  3. Claessens, Stijn & Demirguc-Kunt, Asl[iota] & Huizinga, Harry, 2001. "How does foreign entry affect domestic banking markets?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 891-911, May.
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  6. Head, Keith & Ries, John & Swenson, Deborah, 1995. "Agglomeration benefits and location choice: Evidence from Japanese manufacturing investments in the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 223-247, May.
  7. Berger, Allen N. & Buch, Claudia M. & DeLong, Gayle & DeYoung, Robert, 2004. "Exporting financial institutions management via foreign direct investment mergers and acquisitions," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 333-366, April.
  8. Wheeler, David & Mody, Ashoka, 1992. "International investment location decisions : The case of U.S. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 57-76, August.
  9. Buch, Claudia M. & Lipponer, Alexander, 2004. "FDI versus cross-border financial services: The globalisation of German banks," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,05, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. Allen N. Berger & Qinglei Dai & Steven Ongena & David C. Smith, 2002. "To what extent will the banking industry be globalized? a study of bank nationality and reach in 20 European nations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-25, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2002. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. Daniel E. Nolle & Rama Seth, 1996. "Do banks follow their customers abroad?," Research Paper 9620, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Barth, James R. & Caprio Jr, Gerard & Levine, Ross, 2001. "The regulation and supervision of banks around the world - a new database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2588, The World Bank.
  16. Focarelli, Dario & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2001. "The patterns of cross-border bank mergers and shareholdings in OECD countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2305-2337, December.
  17. Angela Chang & Shubham Chaudhuri & Jith Jayaratne, 1997. "Rational herding and the spatial clustering of bank branches: an empirical analysis," Research Paper 9724, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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