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Explaining the Dramatic Changes in Performance of U.S. Banks: Technological Change, Deregulation and Dynamic Changes in Competition

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  • Allen N. Berger
  • Loretta J. Mester

Abstract

We investigate the effects of technological change, deregulation, and dynamic changes in competition on the performance of U.S. banks. Our most striking result is that during 1991-1997, cost productivity worsened while profit productivity improved substantially, particularly for banks engaging in mergers. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that banks tried to maximize profits by raising revenues as well as reducing costs. Banks appeared to provide additional or higher quality services that raised costs but also raised revenues by more than the cost increases. The results suggest that methods that exclude revenues when assessing performance may be misleading.

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File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/01/0122.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 01-22.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:01-22

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  1. Joseph P. Hughes & William Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Efficient banking under interstate branching," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 1045-1075.
  2. Humphrey, David B & Pulley, Lawrence B, 1997. "Banks' Responses to Deregulation: Profits, Technology, and Efficiency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 73-93, February.
  3. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the black box: what explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. L. Slifman & C. Corrado, 1996. "Decomposition of productivity and unit costs," Staff Studies 1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 2000. "Recovering risky technologies using the almost ideal demand system: an application to U.S. banking," Working Papers 00-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Edwin R. Dean & Kent Kunze, 1992. "Productivity Measurement in Service Industries," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 73-107 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Humphrey, 1993. "Cost and technical change: Effects from bank deregulation," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 9-34, June.
  8. Dennis Fixler & Kimberly Zieschang, 1999. "The productivity of the banking sector: integrating financial and production approaches to measuring financial service output," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 547-569, April.
  9. Allen N. Berger & Seth D. Bonime & Daniel M. Covitz & Diana Hancock, 1999. "Why are bank profits so persistent: the roles of product market competition, informational opacity, and regional/macroeconomic shocks," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of Financial Institutions: International Survey and Directions for Future Research," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-05, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  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. 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, 1997. "What's the point of credit scoring?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Sep, pages 3-16.
  14. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester, 1998. "The dollars and sense of bank consolidation," Working Papers 98-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. 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.
  16. Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, . "A Quality and Risk-Adjusted Cost Function for Banks: Evidence on the "Too-Big-To-Fail" Doctrine," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 25-92, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  17. Frame, W Scott & Srinivasan, Aruna & Woosley, Lynn, 2001. "The Effect of Credit Scoring on Small-Business Lending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 813-25, August.
  18. Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Bank capitalization and cost: evidence of scale economies in risk management and signaling," Working Papers 96-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  19. Jalal D. Akhavein & Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1996. "The Effects of Megamergers on Efficiency and Prices: Evidence from a Bank Profit Function," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-03, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  20. Allen N. Berger & Timothy H. Hannan, 1994. "The efficiency cost of market power in the banking industry: a test of the "quiet life" and related hypotheses," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Michael Devaney & William Weber, 2000. "Productivity growth, market structure, and technological change: evidence from the rural banking sector," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(6), pages 587-595.
  22. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 1996. "Technical progress, inefficiency and productivity change in U.S. banking, 1984-1993," Working Papers 1994-021, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  23. Stiroh, Kevin J., 2000. "How did bank holding companies prosper in the 1990s?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(11), pages 1703-1745, November.
  24. Michael F. Mohr, 1992. "Recent and Planned Improvements in the Measurement and Deflation of Services Outputs and Inputs in BEA's Gross Product Originating Estimates," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 25-71 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Rhoades, Stephen A., 1998. "The efficiency effects of bank mergers: An overview of case studies of nine mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 273-291, March.
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