Professor Laura Spierdijk has been appointed the NIAS Fellow of the year 2017/2018. After the summer, she will be in residence at the NIAS, het Nederlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Spierdijk, professor in Econometrics of Pensions, Insurance and Finance, will focus her research on the relationship between the size and vitality of banks in the United States.
‘The literature has shown that big banks benefit from certain scale advantages, despite big banks (especially too-big-to-fail banks) have been given a lot of negative press since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008. Paradoxically, U.S. banks have demonstrated long-term economic viability over a range of scales on the order of 300,000:1 in terms of total assets’, says Spierdijk.
‘This market survival evidence suggests that scale effects must be limited despite recent evidence, or that small banks manage to compensate their inefficient scale in some way. To understand why U.S. banks of different scale manage to survive in the same market, this project analyzes the relation between scale, bank size, productivity and market power in the U.S. banking sector. The research outcomes can help to determine the potential advantages and disadvantages of restricting the scale of banks, as has been suggested many times since the start of the financial crisis.’
Spierdijk is looking forward to her research residency at the NIAS. ‘Although I appreciate my colleagues in Groningen very much, I find it refreshing after twelve years to be able to work in another environment for a period. Doing research in a new environment, surrounded by colleague scientists from various fields, provides me with a chance to acquire new ideas and new inspiration.’
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