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Is competition among cooperative banks a negative sum game?

Paolo Coccorese () and Giovanni Ferri

Journal of Institutional Economics, 2019, vol. 15, issue 4, 673-694

Abstract: Does ‘inner competition’ – rivalry among network members – worsen performance in a network of cooperative banks? By weakening the functionality of the network, inner competition might, in fact, endanger network-dependent scale economies. Testing our hypothesis on Italy's network of mutual cooperative banks (Banche di Credito Cooperativo – BCCs), we find a worsening of performance of both incumbents and (even more) aggressors when BCCs compete among themselves. However, the worsening is mild when BCCs compete with comparable non-mutual banks external to the BCC network. We conclude that inner competition among cooperative banks is a negative sum game and, thus, limiting it would be desirable to preserve the stability of cooperative banking networks.

Date: 2019
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