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Economies of Scale and Degree of Capacity Utilization. Evidence from Retail Banks in Argentina

  • Jorge M. Streb
  • Laura D'Amato

The permanent income/transitory income distinction from consumption functions can be applied to cost functions. Transitory deviations of actual output from potential output, i.e. variations in capacity utilization, are relevant for the pattern of U-shaped average costs found in econometric studies. Data from retail banks in Argentina are used to illustrate this issue, with the number of branches as a proxy for potential output, and product per branch as a proxy for the utilization level. Economies of scale at the plant level can be reinterpreted as an indication of excess capacity in the banking industry.

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Paper provided by Universidad del CEMA in its series CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. with number 108.

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Date of creation: Feb 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:108
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  1. Robert B. Barsky & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1988. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, July.
  3. Jeffrey A. Clark, 1988. "Economies of scale and scope at depository financial institutions: a review of the literature," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Sep, pages 16-33.
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