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Efficiency and Economies of Scale of Large Canadian Banks

  • Jason Allen
  • Ying Liu

The authors measure the economies of scale of Canada's six largest banks and their cost-efficiency over time. Using a unique panel data set from 1983 to 2003, they estimate pooled translog cost functions and derive measures of relative efficiency and economies of scale. The disaggregation of the data allows the authors to model Canadian banks as producing multiple outputs, including non-traditional activities. Given the long time span of the data set, they also incorporate technological and regulatory changes in the banks' cost functions, as well as time-varying bank-specific effects. The authors' model leads them to reject constant returns to scale. These findings suggest that there are potential scale benefits in the Canadian banking industry. The authors also find that technological and regulatory changes have had significant positive effects on the banks' cost structure.

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File URL: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/wp05-13.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 05-13.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:05-13
Contact details of provider: Postal: 234 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G9, Canada
Phone: 613 782-8845
Fax: 613 782-8874
Web page: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/

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  1. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of Financial Institutions: International Survey and Directions for Future Research," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-05, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Freedman, C. & Goodlet, C., 1998. "The Financial Services Sector: Past Changes and Future Prospects," Technical Reports 82, Bank of Canada.
  3. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1990. "Production frontiers with cross-sectional and time-series variation in efficiency levels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 185-200.
  4. Peter C. B. Phillips & Hyungsik R. Moon, 1999. "Linear Regression Limit Theory for Nonstationary Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1057-1112, September.
  5. 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 178-99, May.
  6. Christian Calmès, 2004. "Regulatory Changes and Financial Structure: The Case of Canada," Working Papers 04-26, Bank of Canada.
  7. James McIntosh, 2002. "A welfare analysis of Canadian chartered bank mergers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(3), pages 457-475, August.
  8. Clark, Jeffrey A & Siems, Thomas F, 2002. "X-Efficiency in Banking: Looking beyond the Balance Sheet," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 987-1013, November.
  9. Schmidt, Peter & Knox Lovell, C. A., 1979. "Estimating technical and allocative inefficiency relative to stochastic production and cost frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 343-366, February.
  10. John H. Boyd & Mark Gertler, 1994. "Are banks dead? or, are the reports greatly exaggerated?," Proceedings 25, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1993. "A Test of Competition in Canadian Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(1), pages 49-61, February.
  12. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1999. "What explains the dramatic changes in cost and profit performance of the U.S. banking industry?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-13, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Murray, John D & White, Robert W, 1983. " Economies of Scale and Economies of Scope in Multiproduct Financial Institutions: A Study of British Columbia Credit Unions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 887-902, June.
  14. Ferrier, Gary D. & Lovell, C. A. Knox, 1990. "Measuring cost efficiency in banking : Econometric and linear programming evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 229-245.
  15. Rime, Bertrand & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2003. "The performance of universal banks: Evidence from Switzerland," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 2121-2150, November.
  16. Rogers, Kevin E., 1998. "Nontraditional activities and the efficiency of US commercial banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 467-482, May.
  17. 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 368-79, August.
  18. Rezvanian, Rasoul & Mehdian, Seyed, 2002. "An examination of cost structure and production performance of commercial banks in Singapore," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 79-98, January.
  19. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
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