Competition, Efficiency, and Soundness in Banking: An Industrial Organization Perspective

European Banking Center Discussion Paper No. 2010-20S

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2010-68S

44 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2010

See all articles by Klaus Schaeck

Klaus Schaeck

University of Bristol

Martin Čihák

International Monetary Fund (IMF); World Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 6, 2010


How can competition enhance bank soundness? Does competition improve soundness via the efficiency channel? Do banks heterogeneously respond to competition? To answer these questions, we exploit an innovative measure of competition [Boone, J., A New Way to Measure Competition, EconJnl, Vol. 118, pp. 1245-1261] that captures the reallocation of profits from inefficient banks to their efficient counterparts. Based on two complementary datasets for Europe and the U.S., we first establish that the new competition indicator captures a broad variety of other characteristics of competition in a consistent manner. Second, we verify that competition increases efficiency. Third, we present novel evidence that efficiency is the conduit through which competition contributes to bank soundness. In a final examination of banks’ heterogeneous responses to competition, we find that smaller banks’ soundness measures respond more strongly to competition than larger banks’ soundness measures, and two-stage quantile regressions indicate that the soundness-enhancing effect of competition is larger in magnitude for sound banks than for fragile banks.

Keywords: bank competition, efficiency, soundness; Boone indicator; quantile regression

JEL Classification: G21; G28

Suggested Citation

Schaeck, Klaus and Cihak, Martin and Cihak, Martin, Competition, Efficiency, and Soundness in Banking: An Industrial Organization Perspective (July 6, 2010). European Banking Center Discussion Paper No. 2010-20S, CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2010-68S, Available at SSRN: or

Klaus Schaeck (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

Martin Cihak

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Do you want regular updates from SSRN on Twitter?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics