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Are credit unions too small?

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  • David C. Wheelock
  • Paul Wilson

Abstract

Since 1985, the share of U.S. depository institution assets held by credit unions has nearly doubled, and the average (inflation-adjusted) size of credit unions has increased over 600 percent. We use a non-parametric local-linear estimator to estimate a cost relationship for credit unions and derive estimates of ray-scale and expansion-path scale economies. We employ a dimension-reduction technique to reduce estimation error, and bootstrap methods for inference. We find substantial evidence of increasing returns to scale across the range of sizes observed among credit unions, suggesting that an easing of regulations on credit union membership or activities would lead to further increases in the size of credit unions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2008-033.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2008-033

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Keywords: Credit unions;

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  1. 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.
  2. Fried, Harold O. & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Eeckaut, Philippe Vanden, 1993. "Evaluating the performance of US credit unions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 251-265, April.
  3. John R. Walter, 2006. "Not your father's credit union," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 353-377.
  4. Wheelock, David C & Wilson, Paul W, 1999. "Technical Progress, Inefficiency, and Productivity Change in U.S. Banking, 1984-1993," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 212-34, May.
  5. Guilkey, David K & Lovell, C A Knox & Sickles, Robin C, 1983. "A Comparison of the Performance of Three Flexible Functional Forms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 591-616, October.
  6. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Racine, Jeff & Li, Qi, 2004. "Nonparametric estimation of regression functions with both categorical and continuous data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 99-130, March.
  10. Leggett, Keith J. & Strand, Robert W., 2002. "Membership growth, multiple membership groups and agency control at credit unions," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 37-46.
  11. Smith, Donald J, 1984. " A Theoretic Framework for the Analysis of Credit Union Decision Making," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1155-68, September.
  12. R. Alton Gilbert & Adam M. Zaretsky, 2003. "Banking antitrust: are the assumptions still valid?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 29-52.
  13. Scott Frame, W. & Karels, Gordon V. & McClatchey, Christine A., 2003. "Do credit unions use their tax advantage to benefit members? Evidence from a cost function," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 35-47.
  14. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1982. "Unbiased determination of production technologies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 285-323, November.
  15. Enno Mammen, . "Comparing nonparametric versus parametric regression fits," Statistic und Oekonometrie 9205, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
  16. Goddard, John A. & McKillop, Donal G. & Wilson, John O. S., 2002. "The growth of US credit unions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2327-2356.
  17. Bauer, Keldon, 2008. "Detecting abnormal credit union performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 573-586, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Diego A. Restrepo-Tobón & Subal C. Kumbhakar & Kai Sun, 2013. "Are U.S. Commercial Banks Too Big?," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010943, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
  2. Derek C. Jones & Panu Kalmi, 2012. "Economies of Scale Versus Participation: a Co-operative Dilemma?," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 1(1), pages 37-64, December.
  3. Wheelock, David C. & Wilson, Paul W., 2013. "The evolution of cost-productivity and efficiency among US credit unions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 75-88.

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