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Applying efficiency measurement techniques to central banks

  • Loretta J. Mester

This paper reviews the standard techniques of efficiency measurement, discusses some of the issues that arise in applying these standard techniques to central banks, and reviews some of the literature that has attempted to apply these techniques to central banking. The uniqueness of some of the activities of central banking, the difficulty in measuring some of the central banking outputs, and the complicated and multiple objectives pursued by central banks makes application of the standard techniques problematic. However, certain central bank activities do lend themselves to efficiency measurement, e.g., payment services provision.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 03-13.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:03-13
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  1. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. R. Alton Gilbert & David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2002. "New evidence on the Fed's productivity in providing payments services," Working Papers 2002-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Taylor, John B., 1998. "The Robustness and Efficiency of Monetary Policy Rules as Guidelines for Interest Rate Setting by the European Central Bank," Seminar Papers 649, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Efficient banking under interstate branching," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 1045-1075.
  5. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility?: An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 247-274 Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Strong, John S, 1984. "The Use of Inputs by the Federal Reserve System: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1118-20, December.
  7. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon & Michael S. Pagano, 2002. "Do Bankers Sacrifice Value to Build Empires? Managerial Incentives, Industry Consolidation and Financial Performance," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-18, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Toma, Mark, 1991. "The demise of the public-interest model of the Federal Reserve System : A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 157-163, February.
  9. Boyes, William J & Mounts, William Stewart & Sowell, Clifford, 1988. "The Federal Reserve as a Bureaucracy: An Examination of Expense-Preference Behavior," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 181-90, May.
  10. Hughes, Joseph P. & Mester, Loretta J. & Moon, Choon-Geol, 2001. "Are scale economies in banking elusive or illusive?: Evidence obtained by incorporating capital structure and risk-taking into models of bank production," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2169-2208, December.
  11. Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1983. "Preliminary Evidence on the Use of Inputs by the Federal Reserve System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 291-304, June.
  12. Edwards, Franklin R, 1977. "Managerial Objectives in Regulated Industries: Expense-Preference Behavior in Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 147-62, February.
  13. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Tapia, Matias, 2002. "Inflation targeting in Chile," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 125-146, August.
  14. Paul W. Bauer & Gary D. Ferrier, 1996. "Scale economies, cost efficiencies, and technological change in Federal Reserve payments processing," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 1004-1044.
  15. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the black box: what explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Working Papers 97-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  16. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 2002. "Explaining the dramatic changes in performance of U.S. banks: technological change, deregulation, and dynamic changes in competition," Working Papers 01-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Loretta J. Mester, 1989. "Testing for Expense Preference Behavior: Mutual versus Stock Savings and Loans," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(4), pages 483-498, Winter.
  18. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  19. Joseph P. Hughes & William Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 2000. "Recovering Risky Technologies Using the Almost Ideal Demand System: An Application to U.S. Banking," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-47, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  20. Robert L. Hetzel, 2000. "The Taylor rule : is it a useful guide to understanding monetary policy?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 1-33.
  21. 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.
  22. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2004. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Efficient? A Cross Country Analysis," NBER Working Papers 10973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Loretta J. Mester, 1989. "Owners versus managers: who controls the bank?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue May, pages 13-23.
  24. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: international survey and directions for future research," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  25. Mester, Loretta J., 1991. "Agency costs among savings and loans," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 257-278, June.
  26. Boyd, John H, 1984. "The Use of Inputs by the Federal Reserve System: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1114-17, December.
  27. Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, . "A Quality and Risk-Adjusted Cost Function for Banks: Evidence on the "Too-Big-To-Fail" Doctrine," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 25-92, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  28. James Bohn & Diana Hancock & Paul Bauer, 2001. "Estimates of scale and cost efficiency for Federal Reserve currency operations," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 2-26.
  29. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Stefan Krause, 2002. "Central bank structure, policy efficiency, and macroeconomic performance: exploring empirical relationships," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 47-60.
  30. Mester, Loretta J., 1992. "Traditional and nontraditional banking: An information-theoretic approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 545-566, June.
  31. Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1984. "The Use of Inputs by the Federal Reserve System: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1121-23, December.
  32. Mester, Loretta J, 1994. "Further Evidence Concerning Expense Preference and the Fed," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 125-45, February.
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