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Economic Quarterly

Fall 2001

On the Size Distribution of Banks

Huberto M. Ennis

Important changes in U.S. banking regulation that took place during the nineties have inspired concern about the long-run size distribution of banks. The asset-size distribution of commercial banks is skewed to the right, and there has been a pronounced increase in asset concentration in the last 20 years. A detailed review of these stylized facts is provided and theoretical explanations for the coexistence of small and large banks in equilibrium are discussed.

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