The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper assesses the impact of the geographic diversification of bank holding company (BHC) assets across the United States on their market valuations. Using two novel identification strategies based on the dynamic process of interstate bank deregulation, we find that exogenous increases in geographic diversity reduce BHC valuations. These findings are consistent with the view that geographic diversity makes it more difficult for shareholders and creditors to monitor firm executives, allowing corporate insiders to extract larger private benefits from firms.