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This paper analyses the effects of concentration on profitability in the US banking sector from 1994-2005, using bank-level panel data. A new index of concentration is proposed, which reflects the depth and intensity of concentration. The econometric specification facilitates the simultaneous testing of the four main hypotheses in the literature concerning the relationship between concentration and profitability. Strong support is found for the Structure-Conduct-Performance hypothesis, as well as some support for the Relative Market Power hypothesis. The results are robust to alternative econometric techniques and specifications, and to various measures of profitability and of concentration. Further analysis sheds light on the nature and possible channels of the concentration-profitability relationship.
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