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Estimating Cost Functions of Malaysian Commercial Banks: The Differential Effects of Size, Location, and Ownership

  • Hidenobu Okuda
  • Hidetoshi Hashimoto

Bank integration and competition policies are a core part of current financial reforms intended to strengthen the financial sector in Malaysia. This paper intends to clarify the production technology employed in Malaysian banks and indicate important policy implications for current bank consolidation policy. While it is essential to conduct a microeconomic analysis of the banking sector to appraise financial reform policy, Katib and Mathews (2000) is the only formal study in this area that uses micro level data on Malaysian banks. Our analysis expands on Katib and Mathews' study in three aspects. Firstly, while Katib and Mathews employed Data Envelopment Analysis, we use estimation analysis based on a parametric approach. Secondly, we examine technological differences among Malaysian banks according to the size of operations, location of branches and ownership structure. Thirdly, we also explicitly incorporate the existence of hidden bad loans in estimating cost functions. According to our estimation analysis, there is a difference in production technology between large-sized banks and small or medium-sized banks. While economies of scale are observed for large-sized banks, no economies of scope and technological progress are observed for any banks. The results of our analysis suggest that, while the current reform policy is basically appropriate, serious problems remain regarding bank consolidation and the lack of market competition. Copyright 2004 East Asian Economic Association.

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Article provided by East Asian Economic Association in its journal Asian Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 233-259

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Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:18:y:2004:i:3:p:233-259
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