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This paper investigates the role of incumbents' market power in shaping the entry decisions of Italian banks after branching liberalization in 1990. Using a unique dataset on 260 banks, the authors find that entry over the 1990-1995 periods was targeted towards markets that were more competitive to begin with, i.e. where banking spreads were smaller. The results confirm the entry deterrent role of market power in the short-run and show a long run effect of regulation that survives after the removal of administrative barriers.
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