Investigating the Market Structure of Banking Industry and the Effects of Hypothetical Mergers on it

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Shahid Beheshti University

2 MA in Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University


The Iranian banking sector is experiencing changes such as the expansion of private banks, the entry of foreign banks and the likely mergers of several banks and non-bank credit institution. Therefore, studying the process of structural changes in the banking market and determining its competitiveness, can help the policy makers and planners of the banking system in structural reforms and directing monetary policy. In this study, using the structural approach and calculating the three concentration indexes,( the k Bank, Herfindahl-Hirschman, as well as the number of bank's optimality criteria), we examined the banking market structure in Iran. The sample of the study includes all domestic banks and the period under review is 1991-2016. The results show that the Iran's banking market during the period under review has tended to reduce concentration and increase competition. Also, competition in facilities has been more than two other dimensions of assets and deposits. Further, the effect of hypothetical mergers between two groups of banks (banks owned by armed forces and small banks) on the competitive conditions of the banking market was measured using the Herfindahl-Hirschman index and the number of banks' optimality criteria. The results show that such mergers have an insignificance impact on the increase of concentration and lead to an improvement in the number of banks' optimality criteria.


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