The Size Distribution of US Banks and Credit Unions

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This study examines the firm size distribution of US banks and credit unions. A truncated lognormal distribution describes the size distribution, measured using assets data, of a large population of small, community-based commercial banks. The size distribution of a smaller but increasingly dominant cohort of large banks, which operate a high-volume low-cost retail banking model, exhibits power-law behaviour. There is a progressive increase in skewness over time, and Zipf's Law is rejected as a descriptor of the size distribution in the upper tail. By contrast, the asset size distribution of the population of credit unions conforms closely to the lognormal distribution .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-156
JournalInternational Journal of the Economics of Business
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2014

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