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A note on technical change in banking: the case of European savings banks

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  • S. Carbo
  • E. P. M. Gardener
  • J. Williams

Abstract

Using a Fourier flexible form cost function methodology, technical progress is estimated for a large sample of European savings banks between 1989 and 1997. On average, technical progress has reduced savings banks total costs by around 3.4% per annum. Since the European savings banks industry is characterized by technology sharing arrangements, a test is made to determine whether technical change is positively related to bank size. The estimates identify two important features of how technical progress has effected European savings banks' costs. First, costs reductions arising from technical change diminish between 1989 and 1997. Second, technical progress has a bigger impact on reducing large savings banks' costs, chiefly because of its influence on input prices, that is, non-neutral technical change increases systematically with size. This suggests that large savings banks have greater flexibility in reducing costs in response to technical progress, implying that technology sharing arrangements have not led to uniform reductions in banks' total cost. Rather, large savings banks are market leaders and small banks market followers. Since larger banks benefit more from technical progress this may be an important factor promoting consolidation in the European savings banks industry.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Carbo & E. P. M. Gardener & J. Williams, 2003. "A note on technical change in banking: the case of European savings banks," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 705-719.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:6:p:705-719
    DOI: 10.1080/0003684022000035836
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:wfo:wstudy:31499 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Schure, Paul & Wagenvoort, Rien & O'Brien, Dermot, 2004. "The efficiency and the conduct of European banks: Developments after 1992," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 371-396.
    3. Cristi SPULBAR & Mihai NITOI & Lucian ANGHEL, 2015. "Efficiency In Cooperative Banks And Savings Banks : A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(1), pages 5-21, March.
    4. Barbara Casu & Philip Molyneux, 2003. "A comparative study of efficiency in European banking," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(17), pages 1865-1876.
    5. Trevor Fitzpatrick & Kieran McQuinn, 2005. "Labour Cost Efficiency in UK and Irish Credit Institutions," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 36(1), pages 45-66.
    6. Mariani Abdul-Majid & David Saal & Giuliana Battisti, 2010. "Efficiency in Islamic and conventional banking: an international comparison," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 25-43, August.
    7. Adnan Kasman & Saadet Kirbas-Kasman, 2006. "Technical Change in Banking: Evidence From Transition Countries," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 129-144.
    8. Fitzpatrick, Trevor & McQuinn, Kieran, 2004. "Cost Efficiency in UK and Irish Credit Institutions," Research Technical Papers 3/RT/04, Central Bank of Ireland.
    9. Williams, Jonathan & Nguyen, Nghia, 2005. "Financial liberalisation, crisis, and restructuring: A comparative study of bank performance and bank governance in South East Asia," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 2119-2154, August.
    10. Giovanna Aguilar & Jhonatan Portilla, 2017. " Cambio técnico en el sector regulado de las microfinanzas peruanas: 2003-2015," Documentos de Trabajo / Working Papers 2017-446, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

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