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Economies of Scale and Efficiency in European Banking: New Evidence

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Author Info

  • Wagenvoort, Rien

    ()
    (European Investment Bank, Economic and Financial Studies)

  • Schure, Paul

    (European University Institute in Florence)

Abstract

This paper investigates the cost efficiency of 1974 credit institutions across 15 European countries over the five-year period following the implementation of the Second Banking Directive in 1993. The Recursive Thick Frontier Approach is employed to estimate a Augmented Cobb-Douglas cost frontier that allows banks of different types, in different periods, and belonging to different size categories, to operate at different costs per unit of assets. As size economies are exhausted at a balance sheet total of EUR 600 million, we do not find major economic gains from economies of scale for the overall European banking industry. However, the saving bank sector may reduce average costs with roughly 6% by choosing an optimal size for its institutions. No impact of technological progress on the average costs of the full sample of X-efficient banks could be detected but managerial efficient saving banks reduced average costs with 9% during our sample period. The most important reason for inefficiencies in the European banking is managerial inability to control costs. Although in some countries such as the UK and The Netherlands cost reductions were rapidly achieved, the average level of X-inefficiency of European banks still exceeded 16% in 1997.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Investment Bank, Economics Department in its series Economic and Financial Reports with number 1999/1.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:eibefr:1999_001

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Related research

Keywords: X-efficiency; Economies of scale; European Banking; Cost Frontier; Recursive Thick Frontier Approach;

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References

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  1. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the Black Box: What Explains Differences in the Efficiencies of Financial Institutions?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-04, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: international survey and directions for future research," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Goldberg, Lawrence G. & Rai, Anoop, 1996. "The structure-performance relationship for European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 745-771, May.
  4. Berger, Allen N, 1995. "The Profit-Structure Relationship in Banking--Tests of Market-Power and Efficient-Structure Hypotheses," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 404-31, May.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Mester, Loretta J., 1996. "A study of bank efficiency taking into account risk-preferences," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1025-1045, July.
  8. Berger, Allen N. & Hanweck, Gerald A. & Humphrey, David B., 1987. "Competitive viability in banking : Scale, scope, and product mix economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 501-520, December.
  9. Joaquin Maudos, 1998. "Market structure and performance in Spanish banking using a direct measure of efficiency," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 191-200.
  10. Vennet, Rudi Vander, 1996. "The effect of mergers and acquisitions on the efficiency and profitability of EC credit institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1531-1558, November.
  11. DeYoung, Robert & Hasan, Iftekhar, 1998. "The performance of de novo commercial banks: A profit efficiency approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 565-587, May.
  12. Rogers, Kevin E., 1998. "Nontraditional activities and the efficiency of US commercial banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 467-482, May.
  13. Lang, Gunter & Welzel, Peter, 1996. "Efficiency and technical progress in banking Empirical results for a panel of German cooperative banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1003-1023, July.
  14. Wagenvoort, Rien & Schure, Paul, 1999. "The Recursive Thick Frontier Approach to Estimating Efficiency," Economic and Financial Reports 1999/2, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  15. Berger, Allen N. & Hunter, William C. & Timme, Stephen G., 1993. "The efficiency of financial institutions: A review and preview of research past, present and future," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 221-249, April.
  16. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Koutsomanoli-Filippaki, Anastasia & Mamatzakis, Emmanuel C., 2010. "Estimating the speed of adjustment of European banking efficiency under a quadratic loss function," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-11, January.
  2. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & Francesco GIAVAZZI & Ernst-Ludwig VON THADDEN, 2000. "European Financial Markets After EMU: A First Assessment," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 00.03, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, revised May 2000.
  3. Jordan, Dan J. & Rice, Douglas & Sanchez, Jacques & Wort, Donald H., 2011. "Explaining bank market-to-book ratios: Evidence from 2006 to 2009," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 2047-2055, August.
  4. Abbasoğlu, Osman Furkan & Aysan, Ahmet Faruk & Gunes, Ali, 2007. "Concentration, Competition, Efficiency and Profitability of the Turkish Banking Sector in the Post-Crises Period," MPRA Paper 5494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Fenn, Paul & Vencappa, Dev & Diacon, Stephen & Klumpes, Paul & O'Brien, Chris, 2008. "Market structure and the efficiency of European insurance companies: A stochastic frontier analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 86-100, January.
  6. Carol Ann Northcott, 2004. "Competition in Banking: A Review of the Literature," Working Papers 04-24, Bank of Canada.
  7. Guenter Lang, 2000. "The Impact of SMP and EMU on German Banking," Discussion Paper Series 192, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
  8. O'Brien, Dermot & Wagenvoort, Rien, 2000. "Some Empirical Findings On The Characteristics Of Cost-Efficient Credit Institutions," Economic and Financial Reports 2000/1, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  9. Dean Amel & Colleen Barnes & Fabio Panetta & Carmelo Salleo, 2002. "Consolidation and efficiency in the financial sector: a review of the international evidence," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 464, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  10. Amel, Dean & Barnes, Colleen & Panetta, Fabio & Salleo, Carmelo, 2004. "Consolidation and efficiency in the financial sector: A review of the international evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2493-2519, October.
  11. Schure, Paul & Wagenvoort, Rien & O'Brien, Dermot, 2004. "The efficiency and the conduct of European banks: Developments after 1992," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 371-396.
  12. Dean F. Amel & Colleen Barnes & Fabio Panetta & Carmelo Salleo, 2003. "Consolidation and Efficiency in the Financial Sector: A Review of the International Evidence," CEIS Research Paper 20, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  13. Marko Košak & Peter Zajc & Jelena Zorić, 2009. "Bank efficiency differences in the new EU member states," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 67-90, December.
  14. Wagenvoort, Rien & Schure, Paul, 1999. "The Recursive Thick Frontier Approach to Estimating Efficiency," Economic and Financial Reports 1999/2, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.

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