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Efficiency in the European banking industry: an exploratory analysis to rank countries

The introduction of the Euro in EMU is enhancing international competition between European banks, forcing banks to become more efficient. Which countries will be effected the most? The stochastic cost frontier approach is used to estimate the X-efficiency of the European banks, and a multiproduct translog cost function to compare cost levels. On average, Spanish, French and Italian banks appear to be less efficient than those in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, while banks in Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland are the most efficient. Large differences in average X-inefficiencies and cost-levels between countries exist, Spain being around 40% above and Luxembourg about 35% below the European average. Large-scale consolidation and rationalisation of the banking industry are expected. Furthermore, the analysis provides evidence that X-efficiency estimates from single-country studies, as often found in the literature, can be very misleading.

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File URL: http://www.dnb.nl/en/binaries/ot018_tcm47-146044.pdf
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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Directorate Supervision in its series Research Series Supervision (discontinued) with number 18.

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Date of creation: May 1999
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:ressup:18
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Web page: http://www.dnb.nl/en/

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  1. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the black box: what explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  3. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-44, June.
  4. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B., 1991. "The dominance of inefficiencies over scale and product mix economies in banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 117-148, August.
  5. Richard S. BARR & Lawrence M. SEIFORD & Thomas F. SIEMS, 1994. "Forecasting Bank Failure : A Non-Parametric Frontier Estimation Approach," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1994041, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  6. Lee, L.F., 1992. "Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Estimator for Stochastic Frontier Function Model with a Singular Information Matrix," Papers 92-01, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  7. Battese, George E. & Corra, Greg S., 1977. "Estimation Of A Production Frontier Model: With Application To The Pastoral Zone Of Eastern Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 21(03), December.
  8. Allen N. Berger & Robert DeYoung, 1997. "Problem loans and cost efficiency in commercial banks," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-8, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
  10. Mester, Loretta J., 1997. "Measuring efficiency at U.S. banks: Accounting for heterogeneity is important," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 230-242, April.
  11. Berger, Allen N. & Hancock, Diana & Humphrey, David B., 1993. "Bank efficiency derived from the profit function," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 317-347, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Simon H. Kwan & Robert A. Eisenbeis, 1995. "An analysis of inefficiencies in banking: a stochastic cost frontier approach," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 1993. "Explaining bank failures: deposit insurance, regulation, and efficiency," Working Papers 1993-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  15. Altunbas, Yener & Evans, Lynne & Molyneux, Philip, 2001. "Bank Ownership and Efficiency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(4), pages 926-54, November.
  16. J.A. Bikker & J.M. Groeneveld, 1998. "Competition and Concentration in the EU Banking Industry," Research Series Supervision (discontinued) 8, Netherlands Central Bank, Directorate Supervision.
  17. Stevenson, Rodney E., 1980. "Likelihood functions for generalized stochastic frontier estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 57-66, May.
  18. Altunbas, Y. & Gardener, E. P. M. & Molyneux, P. & Moore, B., 2001. "Efficiency in European banking," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1931-1955, December.
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