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The success of bank mergers revisited: an assessment based on a matching strategy

  • Heid, Frank
  • Behr, Andreas

The question of whether or not mergers and acquisitions have helped to enhance banks' efficiency and profitability has not yet been conclusively resolved in the literature. We argue that this is partly due to the severe methodological problems involved. In this study, we analyze the effect of German bank mergers in the period 1995-2000 on banks' profitability and cost efficiency. We suggest a new matching strategy to control for the selection effects arising from the fact that predominantly under-performing banks engage in mergers. Our results indicate a neutral effect of mergers on profitability and a positive effect on cost efficiency. Comparing our results with those obtained from a naive performance comparison of merging and non-merging banks indicates a severe negative selection bias with regard to the former.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies with number 2008,06.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:7316
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  1. Houston, Joel F. & Ryngaert, Michael D., 1994. "The overall gains from large bank mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1155-1176, December.
  2. Lang, Gunter & Welzel, Peter, 1999. " Mergers among German Cooperative Banks: A Panel-Based Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 273-86, December.
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  4. Avkiran, Necmi Kemal, 1999. "The evidence on efficiency gains: The role of mergers and the benefits to the public," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 991-1013, July.
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  6. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1992. "Megamergers in banking and the use of cost efficiency as an antitrust defense," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 203, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Houston, Joel F. & James, Christopher M. & Ryngaert, Michael D., 2001. "Where do merger gains come from? Bank mergers from the perspective of insiders and outsiders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 285-331, May.
  8. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. M. Koetter, 2005. "Evaluating the German Bank Merger Wave," Working Papers 05-16, Utrecht School of Economics.
  10. Rhoades, Stephen A., 1998. "The efficiency effects of bank mergers: An overview of case studies of nine mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 273-291, March.
  11. Peristiani, Stavros, 1997. "Do Mergers Improve the X-Efficiency and Scale Efficiency of U.S. Banks? Evidence from the 1980s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 326-37, August.
  12. Cuesta, Rafael A. & Orea, Luis, 2002. "Mergers and technical efficiency in Spanish savings banks: A stochastic distance function approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2231-2247.
  13. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2000. "Why do Banks Disappear? The Determinants of U.S. Bank Failures and Acquisitions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 127-138, February.
  14. Michael Koetter, 2008. "An Assessment of Bank Merger Success in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 232-264, 05.
  15. Worthington, Andrew C., 2004. "Determinants of merger and acquisition activity in Australian cooperative deposit-taking institutions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 47-57, January.
  16. Resti, Andrea, 1998. "Regulation Can Foster Mergers, Can Mergers Foster Efficiency? The Italian Case," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 157-169, March.
  17. Koetter, M. & Bos, J.W.B. & Heid, F. & Kolari, J.W. & Kool, C.J.M. & Porath, D., 2007. "Accounting for distress in bank mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3200-3217, October.
  18. Jalal D. Akhavein & Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "The effects of megamergers on efficiency and prices: evidence from a bank profit function," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-9, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Focarelli, Dario & Panetta, Fabio & Salleo, Carmelo, 2002. "Why Do Banks Merge?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 1047-66, November.
  20. Jensen, Michael C. & Ruback, Richard S., 1983. "The market for corporate control : The scientific evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 5-50, April.
  21. Vennet, Rudi Vander, 1996. "The effect of mergers and acquisitions on the efficiency and profitability of EC credit institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1531-1558, November.
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