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Number of Banks, Public Debt, and Workable Competition

Erotokritos Varelas

Review of Economics & Finance, 2015, vol. 5, 41-51

Abstract: Based on a traditional approach to the behavior of a bank which lends both private and public sector, and utilizing a typical expression for public debt accumulation, this paper concludes that the optimality of the number and size of banks depends heavily on the course of the public debt, ceteris paribus. If the intergenerational dimension of the public debt is assumed away, fiscal consolidation presupposes a limited number of banks under normal only profit, a sort of quasicompetitive banking. In the presence of intergenerational considerations, fiscal consideration requires a few efficient banks experiencing perhaps positive profit, which is consistent with the notion of workable competition. Consequently, the pre-consolidation size distribution of banks is immaterial policy-wise.

Keywords: Optimum number of banks; Public debt accumulation; Perfect vs. workable competition; Commercial bank seigniorage (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E50 G20 L10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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