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New evidence on the Fed's productivity in providing payments services

  • R. Alton Gilbert
  • David C. Wheelock
  • Paul W. Wilson

As the dominant provider of payments services, the efficiency with which the Federal Reserve provides such services in an important public policy issue. This paper examines the productivity of Federal Reserve check-processing offices during 1980-1999 using non-parametric estimation methods and newly developed methods for non-parametric inference and hypothesis testing. The results support prior studies that found little initial improvement in the Fed's efficiency with the imposition of pricing for Federal Reserve services in 1982. However, we find that median productivity improved substantially during the 1990s, and the dispersion across Fed offices declined.>

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2002-020.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2002-020
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  1. Simar, Leopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2002. "Non-parametric tests of returns to scale," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 115-132, May.
  2. Léopold Simar, 2003. "Detecting Outliers in Frontier Models: A Simple Approach," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 391-424, November.
  3. 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.
  4. GIJBELS, Irène & MAMMEN, Enno & PARK, Byeong U. & SIMAR, Léopold, . "On estimation of monotone and concave frontier functions," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1392, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Paul W. Wilson & Kathleen Carey, 2004. "Nonparametric analysis of returns to scale in the US hospital industry," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 505-524.
  6. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-74, October.
  7. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., 1998. "A General Methodology for Bootstrapping in Nonparametric Frontier Models," Papers 9811, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
  8. 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.
  9. Bauer, Paul W & Ferrier, Gary D, 1996. "Scale Economies, Cost Efficiencies, and Technological Change in Federal Reserve Payments Processing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 1004-39, November.
  10. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., . "Sensitivity analysis of efficiency scores: how to bootstrap in nonparametric frontier models," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1304, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. 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.
  12. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., 1999. "Statistical Inference in Nonparametric Frontier Models: the State of the Art," Papers 9904, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
  13. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  14. Park, B.U. & Simar, L. & Weiner, Ch., 2000. "The Fdh Estimator For Productivity Efficiency Scores," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(06), pages 855-877, December.
  15. repec:cor:louvrp:-1139 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1982. "Unbiased determination of production technologies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 285-323, November.
  17. Wheelock, David C. & Wilson, Paul W., 2001. "New evidence on returns to scale and product mix among U.S. commercial banks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 653-674, June.
  18. Kneip, Alois & Park, Byeong U. & Simar, L opold, 1998. "A Note On The Convergence Of Nonparametric Dea Estimators For Production Efficiency Scores," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 783-793, December.
  19. Humphrey, David Burras, 1981. "Economies to scale in federal reserve check processing operations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 155-173, January.
  20. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., 2000. "Testing Restrictions in Nonparametric Efficiency Models," Papers 0013, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
  21. 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.
  22. Bauer, Paul W. & Hancock, Diana, 1993. "The efficiency of the Federal Reserve in providing check processing services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 287-311, April.
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