IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/jmoncb/v44y2012i1p171-199.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do Large Banks Have Lower Costs? New Estimates of Returns to Scale for U.S. Banks

Author

Listed:
  • DAVID C. WHEELOCK
  • PAUL W. WILSON

Abstract

This paper presents new, fully nonparametric estimates of ray‐scale and expansion‐path scale economies for U.S. banks based on a model of bank costs. Unlike prior studies that use models with restrictive parametric assumptions or limited samples, our methodology uses local polynomial estimators and data on all U.S. banks over the period 1984–2006. Our estimates indicate that as recently as 2006, most U.S. banks faced increasing returns to scale, suggesting that scale economies are a plausible (but not necessarily only) reason for the growth in average bank size and that the tendency toward increasing scale is likely to continue unless checked by government intervention.

Suggested Citation

  • David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2012. "Do Large Banks Have Lower Costs? New Estimates of Returns to Scale for U.S. Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(1), pages 171-199, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jmoncb:v:44:y:2012:i:1:p:171-199
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1538-4616.2011.00472.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1538-4616.2011.00472.x
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2011. "Are Credit Unions Too Small?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1343-1359, November.
    2. Berger, Allen N. & Mester, Loretta J., 2003. "Explaining the dramatic changes in performance of US banks: technological change, deregulation, and dynamic changes in competition," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 57-95, January.
    3. Hughes, Joseph P. & Mester, Loretta J. & Moon, Choon-Geol, 2001. "Are scale economies in banking elusive or illusive?: Evidence obtained by incorporating capital structure and risk-taking into models of bank production," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2169-2208, December.
    4. Loretta J. Mester, 2005. "Optimal industrial structure in banking," Working Papers 08-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    5. Feng, Guohua & Serletis, Apostolos, 2010. "Efficiency, technical change, and returns to scale in large US banks: Panel data evidence from an output distance function satisfying theoretical regularity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 127-138, January.
    6. R. Alton Gilbert & Adam M. Zaretsky, 2003. "Banking antitrust: are the assumptions still valid?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 85(Nov), pages 29-52.
    7. Wheelock, David C. & Wilson, Paul W., 2001. "New evidence on returns to scale and product mix among U.S. commercial banks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 653-674, June.
    8. Mitchell, Karlyn & Onvural, Nur M, 1996. "Economies of Scale and Scope at Large Commercial Banks: Evidence from the Fourier Flexible Functional Form," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 178-199, May.
    9. Chalfant, James A. & Gallant, A. Ronald, 1985. "Estimating substitution elasticities with the Fourier cost function : Some Monte Carlo results," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 205-222, May.
    10. Paul W. Wilson & Kathleen Carey, 2004. "Nonparametric analysis of returns to scale in the US hospital industry," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 505-524.
    11. Berger, Allen N, 2003. "The Economic Effects of Technological Progress: Evidence from the Banking Industry," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(2), pages 141-176, April.
    12. DeYoung, Robert & Roland, Karin P., 2001. "Product Mix and Earnings Volatility at Commercial Banks: Evidence from a Degree of Total Leverage Model," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-84, January.
    13. Cooper, Russel J & McLaren, Keith R, 1996. "A System of Demand Equations Satisfying Effectively Global Regularity Conditions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 359-364, May.
    14. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 1997. "Quadratic Engel Curves And Consumer Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 527-539, November.
    15. McAllister, Patrick H. & McManus, Douglas, 1993. "Resolving the scale efficiency puzzle in banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 389-405, April.
    16. Guilkey, David K & Lovell, C A Knox & Sickles, Robin C, 1983. "A Comparison of the Performance of Three Flexible Functional Forms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 591-616, October.
    17. Sealey, Calvin W, Jr & Lindley, James T, 1977. "Inputs, Outputs, and a Theory of Production and Cost at Depository Financial Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1251-1266, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2009. "Are U.S. banks too large?," Working Papers 2009-054, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    2. Beccalli, Elena & Anolli, Mario & Borello, Giuliana, 2015. "Are European banks too big? Evidence on economies of scale," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 232-246.
    3. Paul W. Wilson & Kathleen Carey, 2004. "Nonparametric analysis of returns to scale in the US hospital industry," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 505-524.
    4. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2009. "Robust, dynamic nonparametric benchmarking: the evolution of cost-productivity and efficiency among U.S. credit unions," Working Papers 2009-008, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    5. Emir Malikov & Diego Restrepo-Tobón & Subal Kumbhakar, 2015. "Estimation of banking technology under credit uncertainty," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 185-211, August.
    6. Diego Restrepo-Tobón & Subal Kumbhakar & Kai Sun, 2015. "Obelix vs. Asterix: Size of US commercial banks and its regulatory challenge," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 125-168, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2003. "Nontraditional activities and bank efficiency revisited: a distributional analysis for Spanish financial institutions," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 371-395.
    9. Wheelock, David C. & Wilson, Paul W., 2008. "Non-parametric, unconditional quantile estimation for efficiency analysis with an application to Federal Reserve check processing operations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 209-225, July.
    10. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2011. "Are Credit Unions Too Small?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1343-1359, November.
    11. Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, 2013. "Measuring the Performance of Banks: Theory, Practice, Evidence, and Some Policy Implications," Departmental Working Papers 201322, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    12. Williams, Jonathan, 2004. "Determining management behaviour in European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2427-2460, October.
    13. Simar, Leopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2007. "Estimation and inference in two-stage, semi-parametric models of production processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 31-64, January.
    14. Douglas Fisher & Adrian R. Fleissig & Apostolos Serletis, 2006. "An Empirical Comparison of Flexible Demand System Functional Forms," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Money And The Economy, chapter 13, pages 247-277, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    15. Lee, Chi-Chuan & Huang, Tai-Hsin, 2017. "Cost efficiency and technological gap in Western European banks: A stochastic metafrontier analysis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 161-178.
    16. Guohua Feng & Apostolos Serletis, 2009. "Efficiency and productivity of the US banking industry, 1998-2005: evidence from the Fourier cost function satisfying global regularity conditions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 105-138.
    17. Diego Restrepo-Tobón & Subal Kumbhakar, 2015. "Nonparametric estimation of returns to scale using input distance functions: an application to large U.S. banks," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 143-168, February.
    18. Adrian R. Fleissig, 2016. "Changing Trends in U.S. Alcohol Demand," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 44(3), pages 263-276, September.
    19. Arjomandi, Amir & Valadkhani, Abbas & O’Brien, Martin, 2014. "Analysing banks’ intermediation and operational performance using the Hicks–Moorsteen TFP index: The case of Iran," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 111-125.
    20. Wheelock, David C. & Wilson, Paul W., 2013. "The evolution of cost-productivity and efficiency among US credit unions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 75-88.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jmoncb:v:44:y:2012:i:1:p:171-199. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.