Clustering or Competition? The Foreign Investment Behavior of German Banks

Banks often concentrate their foreign direct investment (FDI) in certain countries. This clustering of activities could reflect either the attractiveness of a particular country or agglomeration effects. To find out which of the two phenomena dominates, we need to control for country-specific factors. We use new bank-level data on German banks’ FDI for the 1996-2003 period.We test whether the presence of other banks has a positive impact on the entry of new banks. Once we control for the attractiveness of a country through fixed effects, the negative impact of competition dominates. Hence, pure clustering effects are rather unimportant.

15. June 2006

Authors Claudia M. Buch A. Lipponer

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