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Payment scale economies, competition, and pricing

  • Humphrey, David
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    Payment scale economies affect banking costs, competition in payment services, and pricing. Our scale measure relates operating cost to physical measures of European banking "output", finding large economies. This differs from relating total cost to the value of balance sheet assets (the conventional approach). Interest expenses are excluded since differences here are primarily due to mix, not scale. Also, since standard indicators of competition can give inconsistent results, a revenue-based frontier measure is developed and applied to European banks, with little difference evident across countries. Existing differences in bank prices (EC report) are associated with small differences in competition. JEL Classification: E41, C53

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    Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1136.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091136
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    1. Carbó, Santiago & Humphrey, David & Maudos, Joaquín & Molyneux, Philip, 2009. "Cross-country comparisons of competition and pricing power in European banking," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 115-134, February.
    2. J.A. Bikker & L. Spierdijk & P. Finnie, 2007. "The Impact of Market Structure, Contestability and Institutional Environment on Banking Competition," Working Papers 07-29, Utrecht School of Economics.
    3. Humphrey, David & Willesson, Magnus & Bergendahl, Goran & Lindblom, Ted, 2006. "Benefits from a changing payment technology in European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1631-1652, June.
    4. Bolt Wilko & Humphrey David, 2007. "Payment Network Scale Economies, SEPA, and Cash Replacement," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(4), pages 1-21, December.
    5. Jan Boone, 2008. "A New Way to Measure Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1245-1261, 08.
    6. Wilko Bolt & David Humphrey & Roland Uittenbogaard, 2008. "Transaction Pricing and the Adoption of Electronic Payments: A Cross-Country Comparison," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(1), pages 89-123, March.
    7. Tara Rice & Kristin Stanton, 2003. "Estimating the volume of payments-driven revenues," Emerging Issues, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Jan Boone, 2008. "Competition: Theoretical Parameterizations and Empirical Measures," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(4), pages 587-611, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Santiago Carbó Valverde & David Humphrey & Rafael López del Paso, 2007. "Opening the black box: Finding the source of cost inefficiency," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 209-220, June.
    11. Bolt, Wilko & Humphrey, David, 2010. "Bank competition efficiency in Europe: A frontier approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1808-1817, August.
    12. Beijnen, Christine & Bolt, Wilko, 2009. "Size matters: Economies of scale in European payments processing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 203-210, February.
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