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Problem loans and cost efficiency in commercial banks

  • Berger, Allen N.
  • DeYoung, Robert

This paper addresses a little-examined intersection between the problem-loan literature and the bank-efficiency literature. We employ Granger causality techniques to test four hypotheses regarding the relationships among loan quality, cost efficiency, and bank capital. The data suggest that problem loans precede reductions in measured cost efficiency; that measured cost efficiency precedes reductions in problem loans; and that reductions in capital at thinly capitalized banks precede increases in problem loans. Hence, cost efficiency may be an important indicator of future problem loans and problem banks. Our results are ambiguous concerning whether or not researchers should control for problem loans in efficiency estimation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 21 (1997)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 849-870

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:21:y:1997:i:6:p:849-870
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  1. Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, 1991. "A quality and risk-adjusted cost function for banks: evidence on the " too-big-to-fail" doctrine," Working Papers 91-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Wheelock, David C & Wilson, Paul W, 1995. "Explaining Bank Failures: Deposit Insurance, Regulation, and Efficiency," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(4), pages 689-700, November.
  3. Avery, Robert B. & Berger, Allen N., 1991. "Risk-based capital and deposit insurance reform," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4-5), pages 847-874, September.
  4. Simon H. Kwan & Robert A. Eisenbeis, 1995. "An analysis of inefficiencies in banking: a stochastic cost frontier approach," Proceedings 465, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Stevenson, Rodney E., 1980. "Likelihood functions for generalized stochastic frontier estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 57-66, May.
  6. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1992. "On the Estimation of Panel-Data Models with Serial Correlation When Instruments Are Not Strictly Exogenous," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-9, January.
  7. Allen N. Berger, 1994. "The relationship between capital and earnings in banking," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Allen N. Berger & John H. Leusner & John J. Mingo, 1994. "The efficiency of bank branches," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
  12. Gerald R. Faulhaber, 1995. "Banking Markets: Productivity, Risk, and Customer Satisfaction," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 95-14, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  13. 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.
  14. Gary Whalen, 1991. "A proportional hazards model of bank failure: an examination of its usefulness as an early warning tool," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 21-31.
  15. Berger, Allen N. & DeYoung, Robert, 1997. "Problem loans and cost efficiency in commercial banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 849-870, June.
  16. Jones, David S. & King, Kathleen Kuester, 1995. "The implementation of prompt corrective action: An assessment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 491-510, June.
  17. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, 1989. "Deposit-institution failures: a review of empirical literature," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 2-18.
  18. 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.
  19. Cordell, Lawrence R. & King, Kathleen Kuester, 1995. "A market evaluation of the risk-based capital standards for the U.S. financial system," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 531-562, June.
  20. Mitchell, Karlyn & Onvural, Nur M, 1996. "Economies of Scale and Scope at Large Commercial Banks: Evidence from the Fourier Flexible Functional Form," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 178-99, May.
  21. Richard S. Barr & Thomas F. Siems, 1994. "Predicting bank failure using DEA to quantify management quality," Financial Industry Studies Working Paper 94-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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