Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

September 26, 2013

# 13.15 Merger and acquisition activity as driver of spatial clustering: the spatial evolution of the Dutch banking industry, 1850-1993

Ron Boschma, Matté Hartog

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This paper investigates the extent to which merger and acquisition activity contributed to the spatial clustering of the Dutch banking industry in Amsterdam. This analysis is based on a unique database of all banks in the Netherlands that existed in the period 1850-1993. We found that spatial clustering of the Dutch banking industry was not driven by the fact that banks performed better in the Amsterdam region: being located in Amsterdam decreased rather than increased the survival chance of banks. However, banks in Amsterdam were disproportionally active in acquiring other banks outside Amsterdam. Experience in M&As accumulated mainly in the Amsterdam region, which in turn had a positive impact on the survival chance of banks located there. Our findings suggest that M&A activity was a driving force behind the spatial clustering of the Dutch banking industry between 1850 and 1993.

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