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The efficiency of bank branches

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Author Info

  • Berger, Allen N.
  • Leusner, John H.
  • Mingo, John J.

Abstract

Most of the early studies of bank efficiency focused on scale and product mix efficiency, or how close banks are to producing at the scale or product mix that minimizes costs per unit of output. Despite these past efforts, something rather important is missing from most of the analysis according to the authors - evaluation of bank branch efficiency. There has been very little empirical research on bank branch efficiency because branching data generally are confidential and not required by regulators. This paper tries to add to the limited information available about bank branch efficiency. It specifies the Fourier-Flexible nonparametric form for the cost function to characterize the efficient frontier for bank branches, the first application of the form in a frontier efficiency context. This form is applied to over 760 branches of a large U.S. commercial bank for three years of 1989, 1990, and 1991. The authors specify and compare models that employ two different concepts of bank costs and output - the intermediation approach and the production approach. The data set includes information on several types of transactions, allowing for more accurate efficiency estimation. The authors also have information on interbranch transactions, which allows them to account for the services that one branch provides for the customers of another branch. The study is a first of its kind from many perspectives in its methodological approaches, its conceptual approaches that compare and contrast the "intermediation" and "production" approaches to defining branch output, linking the relationship between branch efficiencies and bank efficiencies, the problems associated with bank mergers, and the effects of branch efficiency on price or branch offices to be sold. The empirical results are mutually consistent between the intermediation and production approaches and robust to other variations in specifications. The data suggest that most branches are considerably sm

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 141-162

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:40:y:1997:i:1:p:141-162

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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References

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  1. Berger, Allen N. & Leusner, John H. & Mingo, John J., 1997. "The efficiency of bank branches," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 141-162, September.
  2. McAllister, Patrick H. & McManus, Douglas, 1993. "Resolving the scale efficiency puzzle in banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 389-405, April.
  3. Sherman, H. David & Gold, Franklin, 1985. "Bank branch operating efficiency : Evaluation with Data Envelopment Analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 297-315, June.
  4. Zardkoohi, Asghar & Kolari, James, 1994. "Branch office economies of scale and scope: evidence from savings banks in Finland," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 421-432, May.
  5. Parkan, Celik, 1987. "Measuring the efficiency of service operations: An application to bank branches," Engineering Costs and Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-4), pages 237-242, July.
  6. George J. Benston, 1965. "Branch Banking And Economies Of Scale," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 312-331, 05.
  7. Knox Lovell, C. A. & Pastor, Jesus T., 1997. "Target setting: An application to a bank branch network," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 290-299, April.
  8. Oral, Muhittin & Yolalan, Reha, 1990. "An empirical study on measuring operating efficiency and profitability of bank branches," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 282-294, June.
  9. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-74, October.
  10. TULKENS, Henry & MALNERO, Amador, 1994. "Nonparametric Approaches to the Assessment of the Relative Efficiency of Bank Branches," CORE Discussion Papers 1994047, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Allen N. Berger & Anil K. Kashyap & Joseph Scalise, 1995. "The Transformation of the U.S. Banking Industry: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-06, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  12. Schaffnit, Claire & Rosen, Dan & Paradi, Joseph C., 1997. "Best practice analysis of bank branches: An application of DEA in a large Canadian bank," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 269-289, April.
  13. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1992. "Megamergers in banking and the use of cost efficiency as an antitrust defense," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 203, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Elbadawi, Ibrahim & Gallant, A Ronald & Souza, Geraldo, 1983. "An Elasticity Can Be Estimated Consistently without A Priori Knowledge of Functional Form," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1731-51, November.
  15. Allen N. Berger & Gerald A. Hanweck & David B. Humphrey, 1986. "Competitive viability in banking: scale, scope, and product mix economies," Research Papers in Banking and Financial Economics 82, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1981. "On the bias in flexible functional forms and an essentially unbiased form : The fourier flexible form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 211-245, February.
  17. Bauer, Paul W. & Hancock, Diana, 1993. "The efficiency of the Federal Reserve in providing check processing services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 287-311, April.
  18. Mitchell, Karlyn & Onvural, Nur M, 1996. "Economies of Scale and Scope at Large Commercial Banks: Evidence from the Fourier Flexible Functional Form," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 178-99, May.
  19. Drake, L & Howcroft, B, 1994. "Relative efficiency in the branch network of a UK bank: An empirical study," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 83-90, January.
  20. Giokas, DI, 1991. "Bank branch operating efficiency: A comparative application of DEA and the loglinear model," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 549-557.
  21. Athanassopoulos, Antreas D., 1997. "Service quality and operating efficiency synergies for management control in the provision of financial services: Evidence from Greek bank branches," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 300-313, April.
  22. Berger, Allen N. & Hancock, Diana & Humphrey, David B., 1993. "Bank efficiency derived from the profit function," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 317-347, April.
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