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Keywords:

  • industrial dynamics;
  • cluster;
  • mergers and acquisitions;
  • banking sector;
  • evolutionary economic geography;
  • o18;
  • r00;
  • r11

Abstract

This article investigates the extent to which merger and acquisition (M&A) 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 chances 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 chances 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.