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Why do estimates of bank scale economies differ?

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  • David B. Humphrey

Abstract

A number of public policy issues turn on whether or not there are scale economies in commercial banking. This paper examines why empirical tests in this area have yielded differing results. Sorting out the different methodological approaches enables us to develop general conclusions on the size and significance of scale economies in banking.

Suggested Citation

  • David B. Humphrey, 1990. "Why do estimates of bank scale economies differ?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sep, pages 38-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrer:y:1990:i:sep:p:38-50:n:v.76no.5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson, Richard W., 1985. "Branching, scale economies, and banking costs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 177-191, June.
    2. Evanoff, Douglas D, 1988. "Branch Banking and Service Accessibility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 191-202, May.
    3. Bailey, Elizabeth E & Friedlaender, Ann F, 1982. "Market Structure and Multiproduct Industries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 1024-1048, September.
    4. Benston, George J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1976. "A Transactions Cost Approach to the Theory of Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 215-231, May.
    5. Benston, George J & Hanweck, Gerald A & Humphrey, David B, 1982. "Scale Economies in Banking: A Restructuring and Reassessment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(4), pages 435-456, November.
    6. Berger, Allen N. & Hanweck, Gerald A. & Humphrey, David B., 1987. "Competitive viability in banking : Scale, scope, and product mix economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 501-520, December.
    7. Douglas D. Evanoff & Philip R. Israilevich & Randall C. Merris, 1989. "Technical change, regulation, and economies of scale for large commercial banks: an application of a modified version of Shephard's Lemma," Working Paper Series, Issues in Financial Regulation 89-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Hunter, William C & Timme, Stephen G, 1986. "Technical Change, Organizational Form, and the Structure of Bank Production," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(2), pages 152-166, May.
    9. Jeffrey A. Clark, 1988. "Economies of scale and scope at depository financial institutions: a review of the literature," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Sep, pages 16-33.
    10. George J. Benston, 1965. "Branch Banking And Economies Of Scale," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 312-331, May.
    11. Kim, Moshe, 1986. "Banking technology and the existence of a consistent output aggregate," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 181-195, September.
    12. Lawrence, Colin, 1989. "Banking Costs, Generalized Functional Forms, and Estimation of Economies of Scale and Scope," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 368-379, August.
    13. Noulas, Athanasios G & Ray, Subhash C & Miller, Stephen M, 1990. "Returns to Scale and Input Substitution for Large U.S. Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages 94-108, February.
    14. Flannery, Mark J, 1982. "Retail Bank Deposits as Quasi-Fixed Factors of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 527-536, June.
    15. Clark, Jeffrey A, 1984. "Estimation of Economies of Scale in Banking Using a Generalized Functional Form," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(1), pages 53-68, February.
    16. David B. Humphrey, 1987. "Cost dispersion and the measurement of economies in banking," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue May, pages 24-38.
    17. Gilligan, Thomas & Smirlock, Michael & Marshall, William, 1984. "Scale and scope economies in the multi-product banking firm," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 393-405, May.
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