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New evidence on the Fed's productivity in providing payments services

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  • R. Alton Gilbert
  • David C. Wheelock
  • Paul W. Wilson

Abstract

As the dominant provider of payments services, the efficiency with which the Federal Reserve provides such services in an important public policy issue. This paper examines the productivity of Federal Reserve check-processing offices during 1980-1999 using non-parametric estimation methods and newly developed methods for non-parametric inference and hypothesis testing. The results support prior studies that found little initial improvement in the Fed's efficiency with the imposition of pricing for Federal Reserve services in 1982. However, we find that median productivity improved substantially during the 1990s, and the dispersion across Fed offices declined.>

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2002-020.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2002-020

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Keywords: Productivity ; Payment systems ; Check collection systems;

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References

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  1. Park, B.U. & Simar, L. & Weiner, Ch., 2000. "The Fdh Estimator For Productivity Efficiency Scores," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(06), pages 855-877, December.
  2. GIJBELS, Irène & MAMMEN, Enno & PARK, Byeong U. & SIMAR, Léopold, 1997. "On estimation of monotone and concave frontier functions," CORE Discussion Papers 1997031, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. 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.
  4. Wheelock, David C. & Wilson, Paul W., 2001. "New evidence on returns to scale and product mix among U.S. commercial banks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 653-674, June.
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  6. 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).
  7. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., . "Sensitivity analysis of efficiency scores: how to bootstrap in nonparametric frontier models," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1304, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  9. Humphrey, David Burras, 1981. "Economies to scale in federal reserve check processing operations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 155-173, January.
  10. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., 1998. "A General Methodology for Bootstrapping in Nonparametric Frontier Models," Papers 9811, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
  11. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., 2000. "Testing Restrictions in Nonparametric Efficiency Models," Papers 0013, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
  12. Kneip, Alois & Park, Byeong U. & Simar, L opold, 1998. "A Note On The Convergence Of Nonparametric Dea Estimators For Production Efficiency Scores," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 783-793, December.
  13. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1982. "Unbiased determination of production technologies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 285-323, November.
  14. Bauer, Paul W & Ferrier, Gary D, 1996. "Scale Economies, Cost Efficiencies, and Technological Change in Federal Reserve Payments Processing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 1004-39, November.
  15. Léopold Simar & Paul Wilson, 2000. "Statistical Inference in Nonparametric Frontier Models: The State of the Art," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 49-78, January.
  16. Simar, Leopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2002. "Non-parametric tests of returns to scale," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 115-132, May.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Léopold Simar, 2003. "Detecting Outliers in Frontier Models: A Simple Approach," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 391-424, November.
  20. 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.
  21. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  22. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  23. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-44, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Barnes, Michelle L. & Lopez, Jose A., 2006. "Alternative measures of the Federal Reserve Banks' cost of equity capital," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1687-1711, June.
  2. Robert DeYoung & William C. Hunter & Gregory F. Udell, 2003. "The past, present, and probable future for community banks," Working Paper Series WP-03-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Jaffry, Shabbar & Ghulam, Yaseen & Cox, Joe, 2008. "Labour use efficiency in the Indian and Pakistani commercial banks," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 259-293, June.
  4. Loretta J. Mester, 2003. "Applying efficiency measurement techniques to central banks," Working Papers 03-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Wheelock, David C. & Wilson, Paul W., 2008. "Non-parametric, unconditional quantile estimation for efficiency analysis with an application to Federal Reserve check processing operations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 209-225, July.
  6. Edward J. Green & Jose A. Lopez & Zhenyu Wang, 2003. "Formulating the imputed cost of equity capital for priced services at Federal Reserve banks," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 55-81.
  7. Curi, Claudia & Gitto, Simone & Mancuso, Paolo, 2011. "New evidence on the efficiency of Italian airports: A bootstrapped DEA analysis," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 84-93, June.

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