Profit, productivity and distribution: Differences across organizational forms - The case of Spanish banks
We examine variations in financial and economic performance as a function of organizational form, and, over time. The forms we consider include Spanish commercial banks, savings banks, and financial cooperatives. We decompose multilateral variation in operating profit, our measure of financial performance, into price and quantity effects. We then decompose the latter into a margin effect and productivity change. Our measure of economic performance, productivity variation, is subsequently disaggregated into technical, cost efficiency, and scale. We find that deregulation and liberalization have acted to narrow performance gaps among organizational forms; this, despite less-than compelling evidence that increased competition has contributed to this convergence. For the Spanish banking system as a whole, the margin effect appears to deliver twice as much financial benefit as do improvements in productivity. Importantly, this finding does not vary across organizational form. Such regularity has an important implication: Incentives for growth are apparently provided by a positive margin rather than by the more elusive benefits of economies of scale and improved cost efficiency.
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