The impact of differing operating environments on US Credit Union Performance, 1993-2001
Today US credit unions operate within a highly competitive financial market place. Set against this competitive operating environment, the present study employs stochastic frontier analysis to evaluate the performance of large credit unions (assets greater than $50 million) over the period 1993 to 2001. Although credit unions may share a common co-operative philosophy, differences between credit unions are also apparent across a range of operational, structural and locational characteristics (environmental conditions). The impact of these different environmental influences is modelled in two ways. One assumes that environmental factors affect the efficiency with which the production process is operated, while the second assumes that the environment affects the production process itself. Net and gross cost efficiency measures are obtained for both models, with the differences between these measures for a specific credit union being viewed as the impact that environmental variables have on the inefficiency of that credit union. In addition, if it is assumed that the main environmental factors are accounted for in the modelling, then a credit union's net efficiency measure may be interpreted as a measure of managerial performance when operating in equivalent environments. The analysis revealed that different environments (the age of the credit union; the potential for expansion within the existing common bond; whether the credit union has the option of expansion through the addition of select employee groups; whether the credit union is state or federally regulated; whether insurance is provided at state or federal level; as well as regional characteristics such as per capita income and the level of unemployment) account for much of the variability in cost efficiency between credit unions and once credit unions are placed in broadly equivalent operating environments only marginal differences are apparent in their managerial performance.
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Volume (Year): 16 (2006)
Issue (Month): 17 ()
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