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Technical progress, inefficiency and productivity change in U.S. banking, 1984-1993

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  • David C. Wheelock
  • Paul W. Wilson

Abstract

Numerous studies have found that US commercial banks are quite inefficient, and we find that, on average, banks became more technically inefficient between 1984 and 1993. Our analysis of productivity change, however, shows that technological improvements adopted by a few banks pushed out the efficient frontier, and that, on average, commercial banks experienced productivity gains. For banks with assets less than 0 million, however, technological improvement was insufficient to offset increased inefficiency, and thus productivity declined over the period. Our findings suggest that increasing inefficiency is reflective of an industry undergoing rapid technical change and adjustment of average firm size, but not necessarily a long-term decline.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 1994-021.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, May 1999, 31(2), pp. 212-34
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1994-021

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Keywords: Banks and banking ; Productivity ; Technology;

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  1. repec:wop:humbsf:1998-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Oulton,Nicholas & O'Mahony,Mary, 1994. "Productivity and Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521453455, October.
  3. Korostelev, A.P. & Simar , L. & Tsybakov, A.B., . "On estimation of monotone and convex boundaries," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1139, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Fare, Rolf & Shawna Grosskopf & Mary Norris & Zhongyang Zhang, 1994. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 66-83, March.
  5. 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.).
  6. David Humphrey, 1993. "Cost and technical change: Effects from bank deregulation," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 9-34, June.
  7. Grosskopf, S, 1986. "The Role of the Reference Technology in Measuring Productive Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 499-513, June.
  8. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1992. "Measurement and Efficiency Issues in Commercial Banking," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 245-300 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Aly, Hassan Y, et al, 1990. "Technical, Scale, and Allocative Efficiencies in U.S. Banking: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 211-18, May.
  10. GIJBELS, Irène & MAMMEN, Enno & PARK, Byeong U. & SIMAR, Léopold, . "On estimation of monotone and concave frontier functions," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1392, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. David C. Wheelock, 1993. "Is the banking industry in decline? Recent trends and future prospects from a historical perspective," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 3-22.
  12. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B., 1991. "The dominance of inefficiencies over scale and product mix economies in banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 117-148, August.
  13. Loretta J. Mester, 1987. "Efficient production of financial services: scale and scope economies," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jan, pages 15-25.
  14. 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.
  15. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Cox, Thomas L, 1990. "A Non-parametric Analysis of Productivity: The Case of U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 450-64, June.
  16. Hunter, William C & Timme, Stephen G, 1991. "Technological Change in Large U.S. Commercial Banks," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(3), pages 339-62, July.
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