Moshe Kim and Bent Vale

"Non-price strategic behavior: the case of bank branches"
JEL codes: G21, L13
Keywords: Joint ventures; Absorptive capacity; Subgame perfect Nash equilibrium

Abstract: We perform an empirical study of banks' branching decisions as a strategic non-price variable in an oligopolistic setting. Using panel data of banks from Norway, we find clear evidence that banks act strategically in their branching decisions, taking into consideration the future response from rival banks. The analysis is applied to a unique data set which covers the entire banking sector during both pre- and post-banking crisis periods, where very different types of conduct are found in each of these periods both for banks and borrowers. Moreover, we find that a bank specific branch- network does not confer externality on other banks. As a result branch network affects only market shares but nor market size.

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