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On the relationship among efficiency, capitalization and risk: does management matter in local banking market?

Cristian Barra, Giovanna Bimonte and Roberto Zotti ()

Applied Economics, 2016, vol. 48, issue 41, 3912-3934

Abstract: By employing a Granger causality methodology in a panel data framework, this article explores the relationship among efficiency, capitalization and credit risk within the local Italian banking system. Focusing the attention on cooperative banks, we specifically test whether managers take more risks in highly concentrated markets (i.e. monopoly) than in partially competitive markets (i.e. duopoly). The evidence shows that in more concentrated markets, management efficiency generates a decrease in risk-taking (rejecting the bad management hypothesis) with respect to the partially competitive markets. Results are consistent with the idea that banks with less local competition are able to increase their profits by indulging more freely in rent-seeking behaviour, minimizing their risk-taking and, consequently, improving the quality of their assets through additional screening processes. The financial crisis does not seem to affect the conduct of management in terms of bank investment decisions and risk-taking. A series of robustness tests generally confirms our findings.

Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2016.1148257

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