Bank competition in Russia: From aggregation to geographical segments
This empirical paper adds to competition and industrial organization literature by exploring the interplay between industry structure and competitiveness on local, rather than nation-wide, markets. We use micro-level statistical data for banks in two Russian regions (Bashkortostan and Tatarstan) to estimate Herfindahl-Hirschman index, Lerner index, and Panzar-Rosse model. We estimate Panzar-Rosse model in two ways: via the widely used price-equation that accounts for scale effects and then via a revenue-equation that disregards scale effects as suggested by Bikker, Shaffer and Spierdijk (2009). We find both regional markets to be ruled by monopolistic competition, although estimation by revenue-equation does not reject monopoly hypothesis for Tatarstan. Existence of sizeable locally-owned and operated institutions does not necessarily lead to higher competitiveness of the given regional market. Non-structural methods of estimation suggest that bank competition in Bashkortostan is stronger than in Tatarstan.