Bank Risk Taking and Competition Revisited

24 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2006

See all articles by John H. Boyd

John H. Boyd

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Gianni De Nicolo

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: May 2003

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.

Keywords: bank risk shifting, competition

JEL Classification: G21

Suggested Citation

Boyd, John H. and De Nicolo, Gianni, Bank Risk Taking and Competition Revisited (May 2003). IMF Working Paper, Vol. , pp. 1-24, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=879190

John H. Boyd (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-624-1834 (Phone)

Gianni De Nicolo

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States
(410) 234-4507 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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