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Efficiency in banking: theory, practice, and evidence

  • Joseph P. Hughes
  • Loretta J. Mester

Great strides have been made in the theory of bank technology in terms of explaining banks’ comparative advantage in producing informationally intensive assets and financial services and in diversifying or offsetting a variety of risks. Great strides have also been made in explaining sub-par managerial performance in terms of agency theory and in applying these theories to analyze the particular environment of banking. In recent years, the empirical modeling of bank technology and the measurement of bank performance have begun to incorporate these theoretical developments and yield interesting insights that reflect the unique nature and role of banking in modern economies. This paper gives an overview of two general empirical approaches to measuring bank performance and discusses some of the applications of these approaches found in the literature.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 08-1.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:08-1
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  1. Hughes, Joseph P. & Lang, William W. & Mester, Loretta J. & Moon, Choon-Geol, 1999. "The dollars and sense of bank consolidation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 291-324, February.
  2. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 2001. "Explaining the Dramatic Changes in Performance of U.S. Banks: Technological Change, Deregulation and Dynamic Changes in Competition," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-22, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Fiordelisi, Franco, 2007. "Shareholder value efficiency in European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 2151-2171, July.
  4. Joseph Hughes, 1999. "Incorporating risk into the analysis of production," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 27(1), pages 1-23, March.
  5. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
  6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-deSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "Government Ownership of Banks," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1890, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2007. "Democracy, Technology, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 13180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Allen N. Berger & Timothy H. Hannan, 1994. "The efficiency cost of market power in the banking industry: a test of the "quiet life" and related hypotheses," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Joseph P. Hughes & Choon-Geol Moon & Robert DeYoung, 2000. "Efficient Risk-Taking and Regulatory Covenant Enforcement in a Deregulated Banking Industry," Departmental Working Papers 200007, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  10. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J, 1999. "Deposits and Relationship Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(3), pages 579-607.
  11. Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, 1998. "Bank Capitalization And Cost: Evidence Of Scale Economies In Risk Management And Signaling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 314-325, May.
  12. Baele, Lieven & De Jonghe, Olivier & Vander Vennet, Rudi, 2007. "Does the stock market value bank diversification?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1999-2023, July.
  13. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Efficient banking under interstate branching," Working Papers 96-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Kane, Edward J. & Laeven, Luc, 2006. "Determinants of deposit-insurance adoption and design," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3849, The World Bank.
  15. 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.).
  16. 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.
  17. Jensen, Michael C & Meckling, William H, 1979. "Rights and Production Functions: An Application to Labor-managed Firms and Codetermination," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 469-506, October.
  18. 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.
  19. Loretta J. Mester, . "Efficiency in the Savings and Loan Industry," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 26-92, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  20. Charles W. Calomiris & Doron Nissim, 2007. "Activity-Based Valuation of Bank Holding Companies," NBER Working Papers 12918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Gerard Caprio & Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2003. "Governance and Bank Valuation," NBER Working Papers 10158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Joseph Hughes & William Lang & Loretta Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 2000. "Recovering Risky Technologies Using the Almost Ideal Demand System: An Application to U.S. Banking," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 5-27, October.
  23. DeYoung, Robert & Spong, Kenneth & Sullivan, Richard J., 2001. "Who's minding the store? Motivating and monitoring hired managers at small, closely held commercial banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1209-1243, July.
  24. Schranz, Mary S, 1993. "Takeovers Improve Firm Performance: Evidence from the Banking Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 299-326, April.
  25. Hancock, Diana, 1985. "The Financial Firm: Production with Monetary and Nonmonetary Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 859-80, October.
  26. Bos, Jaap W. B. & Heid, Frank & Koetter, Michael & Kolari, James W. & Kool, Clemens J. M., 2005. "Inefficient or just different? Effects of heterogeneity on bank efficiency scores," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2005,15, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  27. Yaron Brook & Robert Hendershott & Darrell Lee, 1998. "The Gains from Takeover Deregulation: Evidence from the End of Interstate Banking Restrictions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2185-2204, December.
  28. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  29. Flannery, Mark J, 1994. "Debt Maturity and the Deadweight Cost of Leverage: Optimally Financing Banking Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 320-31, March.
  30. Mester, Loretta J., 1996. "A study of bank efficiency taking into account risk-preferences," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1025-1045, July.
  31. Koetter, Michael, 2006. "The stability of efficiency rankings when risk-preferences and objectives are different," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2006,08, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  32. Bhattacharya Sudipto & Thakor Anjan V., 1993. "Contemporary Banking Theory," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 2-50, October.
  33. Adams, Renee B. & Santos, Joao A.C., 2006. "Identifying the effect of managerial control on firm performance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 55-85, April.
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  35. DeLong, Gayle L., 2001. "Stockholder gains from focusing versus diversifying bank mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 221-252, February.
  36. Mester, Loretta J., 1992. "Traditional and nontraditional banking: An information-theoretic approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 545-566, June.
  37. Mester, Loretta J., 1991. "Agency costs among savings and loans," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 257-278, June.
  38. Humphrey, David B & Pulley, Lawrence B, 1997. "Banks' Responses to Deregulation: Profits, Technology, and Efficiency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 73-93, February.
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