IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedlwp/1997-003.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

New evidence on returns to scale and product mix among U.S. commercial banks

Author

Abstract

Numerous studies have found that banks exhaust scale economies at low levels of output, but most are based on the estimation of parametric cost functions which misrepresent bank cost. Here we avoid specification error by using nonparametric kernal regression techniques. We modify measures of scale and product mix economies introduced by Berger et al. (1987) to accommodate the nonparametric estimation approach, and estimate robust confidence intervals to assess the statistical significance of returns to scale. We find that banks experience increasing returns to scale up to approximately $500 million of assets, and essentially constant returns thereafter. We also find that minimum efficient scale has increased since 1985.

Suggested Citation

  • David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 1997. "New evidence on returns to scale and product mix among U.S. commercial banks," Working Papers 1997-003, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1997-003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/more/1997-003
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/1997/97-003.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jalal D. Akhavein & Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, "undated". "The Effects of Megamergers on Efficiency and Prices: Evidence from a Bank Profit Function," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 10 Dec 2019.
    2. Barnett, William A. & Geweke, John & Wolfe, Michael, 1991. "Seminonparametric Bayesian estimation of the asymptotically ideal production model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 5-50.
    3. 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.
    4. Berger, Allen N. & Leusner, John H. & Mingo, John J., 1997. "The efficiency of bank branches," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 141-162, September.
    5. Berger, Allen N. & Mester, Loretta J., 1997. "Inside the black box: What explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 895-947, July.
    6. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1981. "On the bias in flexible functional forms and an essentially unbiased form : The fourier flexible form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 211-245, February.
    7. Berger, Allen N. & DeYoung, Robert, 1997. "Problem loans and cost efficiency in commercial banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 849-870, 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. 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.
    10. Hardle, Wolfgang & Linton, Oliver, 1986. "Applied nonparametric methods," Handbook of Econometrics, in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 38, pages 2295-2339, Elsevier.
    11. Clark, Jeffrey A, 1996. "Economic Cost, Scale Efficiency, and Competitive Viability in Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 342-364, August.
    12. Hunter, William C & Timme, Stephen G, 1995. "Core Deposits and Physical Capital: A Reexamination of Bank Scale Economies and Efficiency with Quasi-Fixed Inputs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 165-185, February.
    13. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B., 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: International survey and directions for future research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 175-212, April.
    14. Berger, Allen N. & Hanweck, Gerald A. & Humphrey, David B., 1987. "Competitive viability in banking : Scale, scope, and product mix economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 501-520, December.
    15. Allen N. Berger & Anil K. Kashyap & Joseph M. Scalise, 1995. "The Transformation of the U.S. Banking Industry: What a Long, Strange Trips It's Been," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 55-218.
    16. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1992. "Megamergers in banking and the use of cost efficiency as an antitrust defense," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 203, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    17. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1982. "Unbiased determination of production technologies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 285-323, November.
    18. Kaparakis, Emmanuel I & Miller, Stephen M & Noulas, Athanasios G, 1994. "Short-Run Cost Inefficiency of Commercial Banks: A Flexible Stochastic Frontier Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(4), pages 875-893, November.
    19. 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.
    20. Hardle, Wolfgang & Linton, Oliver, 1986. "Applied nonparametric methods," Handbook of Econometrics, in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 38, pages 2295-2339, Elsevier.
    21. John H. Boyd & Stanley L. Graham, 1991. "Investigating the banking consolidation trend," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 15(Spr), pages 3-15.
    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. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B., 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: International survey and directions for future research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 175-212, April.
    2. Berger, Allen N. & Demsetz, Rebecca S. & Strahan, Philip E., 1999. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: Causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 135-194, February.
    3. Bernardo Maggi & Stefania P. S. Rossi, 2003. "An efficiency analysis of banking systems: a comparison of European and United States large commercial banks using different functional forms," Vienna Economics Papers 0306, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    4. Allen Berger & Robert DeYoung, 2001. "The Effects of Geographic Expansion on Bank Efficiency," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 19(2), pages 163-184, April.
    5. Williams, Jonathan, 2004. "Determining management behaviour in European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2427-2460, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Berger, Allen N. & Mester, Loretta J., 1997. "Inside the black box: What explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 895-947, July.
    8. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1999. "What explains the dramatic changes in cost and profit performance of the U.S. banking industry?," Working Papers 99-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    9. Elena Beccalli & Pascal Frantz, 2008. "Do M&As in the EU banking industry lead to an increase in performance?," Working Papers 50-2008, Macerata University, Department of Finance and Economic Sciences, revised Dec 2009.
    10. Tai‐Hsin Huang & Mei‐Hui Wang, 2003. "Estimation of Technical and Allocative Inefficiency Using Fourier Flexible Cost Frontiers for Taiwan's Banking Industry," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(3), pages 341-362, June.
    11. José Luis Carreño & Gino Loyola & Yolanda Portilla, 2010. "Eficiencia Bancaria en Chile: un Enfoque de Frontera de Beneficios," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 603, Central Bank of Chile.
    12. Zuzana Iršová & Tomáš Havránek, 2010. "Measuring Bank Efficiency: A Meta-Regression Analysis," Prague Economic Papers, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2010(4), pages 307-328.
    13. José Luis Carreño G. & Gino Loyola F. & Yolanda Portilla S., 2010. "Banking Efficiency in Chile: a Profit Frontier Approach," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 13(3), pages 33-65, December.
    14. Elena Beccalli & Pascal Frantz, 2009. "M&A Operations and Performance in Banking," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 36(2), pages 203-226, December.
    15. Berger, Allen N. & Leusner, John H. & Mingo, John J., 1997. "The efficiency of bank branches," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 141-162, September.
    16. Bernardo Maggi & Marco Guida, 2011. "Modelling non-performing loans probability in the commercial banking system: efficiency and effectiveness related to credit risk in Italy," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 269-291, October.
    17. 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.
    18. Beccalli, Elena, 2007. "Does IT investment improve bank performance? Evidence from Europe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 2205-2230, July.
    19. Altunbas, Y. & Chakravarty, S. P., 2001. "Frontier cost functions and bank efficiency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 233-240, August.
    20. Daniel Gropper & Steven Caudill & T. Beard, 1999. "Estimating Multiproduct Cost Functions Over Time Using a Mixture of Normals," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 201-218, June.

    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:fip:fedlwp:1997-003. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbslus.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbslus.html .

    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.