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Scope economies: fixed costs, complementarity, and functional form

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  • Lawrence B. Pulley
  • David B. Humphrey
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    Abstract

    Bank scope economies have been derived from either the standard or generalized (Box-Cox) multiproduct translog (or other logarithmic) functional form. Reported results have ranged from strong economies to diseconomies and are far from conclusive. The problem is functional form. An alternative composite form is shown to yield stable SCOPE results both at the usual point of evaluation and for points associated with quasi-specialized production (QSCOPE). Unstable results are obtained for the other forms. Scope economies are shown to exist for large U.S. banks in 1988 and to depend on the number of banking outputs specified. The scope estimates are also separated into their two sources - fixed-cost and cost-complementarity effects.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 91-03.

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    Date of creation: 1991
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:91-03

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    Keywords: Banks and banking - Costs;

    References

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    1. White, Halbert, 1980. "Using Least Squares to Approximate Unknown Regression Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 149-70, February.
    2. Hancock, Diana, 1986. "A model of the financial firm with imperfect asset and deposit elasticities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 37-54, March.
    3. Noulas, Athanasios G & Ray, Subhash C & Miller, Stephen M, 1990. "Returns to Scale and Input Substitution for Large U.S. Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages 94-108, February.
    4. Evans, David S & Heckman, James J, 1984. "A Test for Subadditivity of the Cost Function with an Application to the Bell System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 615-23, September.
    5. Ferrier, Gary D. & Lovell, C. A. Knox, 1990. "Measuring cost efficiency in banking : Econometric and linear programming evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 229-245.
    6. 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.
    7. Denny, Michael & Pinto, Cheryl, 1978. "An Aggregate Model with Multi-Product Technologies," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 9 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
    8. David B. Humphrey, 1990. "Why do estimates of bank scale economies differ?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sep, pages 38-50.
    9. Buono, Mark J. & Eakin, B. Kelly, 1990. "Branching restrictions and banking costs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 1151-1162, December.
    10. Roller, Lars-Hendrik, 1990. "Proper Quadratic Cost Functions with an Application to the Bell System," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 202-10, May.
    11. Sealey, Calvin W, Jr & Lindley, James T, 1977. "Inputs, Outputs, and a Theory of Production and Cost at Depository Financial Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1251-66, September.
    12. Gilligan, Thomas & Smirlock, Michael & Marshall, William, 1984. "Scale and scope economies in the multi-product banking firm," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 393-405, May.
    13. Mester, Loretta J, 1987. " A Multiproduct Cost Study of Savings and Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 423-45, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Rita Martins & Fernando Coelho & Adelino Fortunato, 2008. "Water Losses and Hydrographical Regions Influence on the Cost Structure of the Portuguese Water Industry," GEMF Working Papers 2008-06, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.

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