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Efficiency and economies of scale of large Canadian banks

  • Jason Allen
  • Ying Liu

This paper measures the economies of scale of Canada's six largest banks and their cost-efficiency over time. Using a unique panel data set from 1983 to 2003, we estimate pooled cost functions and derive measures of relative efficiency and economies of scale. The disaggregation of the data allows us to include non-traditional outputs as well as time-varying, bank-specific effects. Our model leads us to reject constant returns to scale. These findings suggest there are potential scale benefits in the Canadian banking industry. We also find that technological and regulatory changes have had significant positive effects on the banks' cost structure.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 225-244

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:40:y:2007:i:1:p:225-244
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  1. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1999. "What explains the dramatic changes in cost and profit performance of the U.S. banking industry?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-13, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  4. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1989. "Production Frontiers With Cross-Sectinal And Time-Series Variation In Efficiency Levels," Working Papers 89-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  6. Rime, Bertrand & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2003. "The performance of universal banks: Evidence from Switzerland," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 2121-2150, November.
  7. Peter C.B. Phillips & Hyungsik R. Moon, 1999. "Linear Regression Limit Theory for Nonstationary Panel Data," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1222, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. 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.
  9. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
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  12. Christian Calmès, 2004. "Regulatory Changes and Financial Structure: The Case of Canada," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(I), pages 1-35, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Freedman, C. & Goodlet, C., 1998. "The Financial Services Sector: Past Changes and Future Prospects," Technical Reports 82, Bank of Canada.
  15. Schmidt, Peter & Knox Lovell, C. A., 1979. "Estimating technical and allocative inefficiency relative to stochastic production and cost frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 343-366, February.
  16. Murray, John D & White, Robert W, 1983. " Economies of Scale and Economies of Scope in Multiproduct Financial Institutions: A Study of British Columbia Credit Unions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 887-902, June.
  17. Rezvanian, Rasoul & Mehdian, Seyed, 2002. "An examination of cost structure and production performance of commercial banks in Singapore," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 79-98, January.
  18. Clark, Jeffrey A & Siems, Thomas F, 2002. "X-Efficiency in Banking: Looking beyond the Balance Sheet," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 987-1013, November.
  19. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1993. "A Test of Competition in Canadian Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(1), pages 49-61, February.
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