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Production Efficiency in the South African Banking Sector: A Stochastic Analysis

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  • C. Charles Okeahalam

Abstract

Econometric estimates of the level of efficiency at bank branches are likely to provide detailed insight into the overall level of efficiency in banking. Therefore this paper uses Bayesian stochastic frontier analysis to assess the production efficiency of 61 bank branches in the nine provinces of the Republic of South Africa. We find that every branch is operating at increasing returns to scale and that the level of production efficiency of bank branches is lower than it could be. We also find that at current levels of output, on average, bank branches can reduce their costs by about 17% if they improve the level of efficiency. In addition, we find that Gauteng Province has the lowest average level of returns to scale, while the Free State Province has the highest average level of the nine provinces. In addition, via estimates of the posterior mean for shares and price elasticities, we find that the price of capital is the largest predicted proportion of costs. These findings suggest that bank branches could also obtain cost reductions by increasing the level of output. Regulatory policy reforms and competitive incentives to enable banks to meet this objective should be encouraged.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Charles Okeahalam, 2006. "Production Efficiency in the South African Banking Sector: A Stochastic Analysis," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 103-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:20:y:2006:i:1:p:103-123
    DOI: 10.1080/02692170500362819
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wanke, Peter & Maredza, Andrew & Gupta, Rangan, 2017. "Merger and acquisitions in South African banking: A network DEA model," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 362-376.
    2. Tecles, Patricia Langsch & Tabak, Benjamin M., 2010. "Determinants of bank efficiency: The case of Brazil," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(3), pages 1587-1598, December.
    3. Andrew Maredza and Sylvanus Ikhide, 2013. "The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Efficiency and Productivity of the Banking System in South Africa," Working Papers 328, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    4. Carlos Pestana Barros & Emanuel Reis Leão & Nkanga Pedro João Macanda & Zorro Mendes, 2016. "A Bayesian Efficiency Analysis of Angolan Banks," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 84(3), pages 484-498, September.

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