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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2008||Racial Discrimination and Competition|
with Ross Levine, Yona Rubinstein: w14273
This paper assesses the impact of competition on racial discrimination. The dismantling of inter- and intrastate bank restrictions by U.S. states from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s reduced financial market imperfections, lowered entry barriers facing nonfinancial firms, and boosted the rate of new firm formation. We use bank deregulation to identify an exogenous intensification of competition in the nonfinancial sector, and evaluate its impact on the racial wage gap, which is that component of the black-white wage differential unexplained by Mincerian characteristics. We find that bank deregulation reduced the racial wage gap by spurring the entry of non- financial firms. Consistent with taste-based theories, competition reduced both the racial wage gap and racial segregation in the workp...
|August 2007||Big Bad Banks? The Impact of U.S. Branch Deregulation on Income Distribution|
with Thorsten Beck, Ross Levine: w13299
By studying intrastate branch banking reform in the United States, this paper provides evidence that financial markets substantively influence the distribution of income. From the 1970s through the 1990s, most states removed restrictions on intrastate branching, which intensified bank competition and improved efficiency. Exploiting the cross-state, cross-time variation in the timing of bank deregulation, we evaluate the impact of liberalizing intrastate branching restrictions on the distribution of income. We find that branch deregulation significantly reduced income inequality by boosting the incomes of lower income workers. The reduction in income inequality is fully accounted for by a reduction in earnings inequality among salaried workers.
Published: BECK, T., LEVINE, R. and LEVKOV, A. (2010), Big Bad Banks? The Winners and Losers from Bank Deregulation in the United States. The Journal of Finance, 65: 1637–1667. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2010.01589.x