Measuring the efficiency of capital allocation in commercial banking
Commercial banks leverage their equity capital with demandable debt that participates in the economy's payments system. The distinctive nature of this debt generates an unusual degree of liquidity risk that can, at times, threaten the payments system. To reduce this threat, insurance protects deposits; and to reduce the moral hazard problems of the debt contract and deposit insurance, bank regulation constrains risk-taking and defines standards of capital adequacy. The inherent liquidity risk of demandable debt as well as potential regulatory penalties for poor financial performance creates the potential for costly episodes of financial distress that affects banks' employment of capital. ; The existence of financial-distress costs implies that many banks are likely to take actions, such as holding additional capital, that increase bank safety at the expense of short-run returns. While such a strategy may reduce average returns in the short run, it may maximize the market value of the bank by protecting charter value and protecting against regulatory interventions. On the other hand, some banks whose charter values are low may have an incentive to follow a higher risk strategy, one that increases average return at the expense of greater risk of financial distress and regulatory intervention. ; This paper examines how banks' employment of capital in their production plans affects their "market value" efficiency. The authors develop a market-based measure of production efficiency and implement it on a sample of publicly traded bank holding companies. Our evidence indicates that banks' efficiency and, hence, the market value of their assets are influenced by the level and allocation of capital. However, even controlling for the effect of size, we find that the influence of equity capital differs markedly between banks with higher capital-to-assets ratios and those with lower ratios. For inefficient banks with higher capital-to-assets ratios, marginal increases in capitalization and asset quality boost their market-value efficiency. For inefficient banks with lower levels of capitalization, the signs of these effects are reversed. Controlling for asset size, it appears that less capitalized banks cannot afford to mimic the investment strategy of more capitalized banks, which may be using this greater capitalization to signal their safety to financial markets.
|Date of creation:||1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 10 Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574|
Web page: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.phil.frb.org/econ/wps/index.html Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bhattacharya Sudipto & Thakor Anjan V., 1993. "Contemporary Banking Theory," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 2-50, October.
- Hughes, Joseph P, et al, 1996.
"Efficient Banking under Interstate Branching,"
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 1045-71, November.
- 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.
- Joseph P. Hughes & Choon-Geol Moon, 1997. "Efficient Banking Under Interstate Branching," Departmental Working Papers 199609, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997.
"Inside the black box: what explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
1997-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- 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.
- Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the Black Box: What Explains Differences in the Efficiencies of Financial Institutions?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-04, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flannery, Mark J., 1989. "Capital regulation and insured banks choice of individual loan default risks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 235-258, September.
- Deborah J. Lucas & Robert L. McDonald, 1992. "Bank Financing and Investment Decisions with Asymmetric Information about Loan Quality," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 86-105, Spring.
- Hayne E. Leland and David H. Pyle., 1976.
"Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation,"
Research Program in Finance Working Papers
41, University of California at Berkeley.
- Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-87, May.
- Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
- Tufano, Peter, 1996. " Who Manages Risk? An Empirical Examination of Risk Management Practices in the Gold Mining Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1097-1137, September.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- 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.
- 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.).
- Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of Financial Institutions: International Survey and Directions for Future Research," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-05, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, 1997.
"Bank capitalization and cost: evidence of scale economies in risk management and signaling,"
96-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- 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.
- Joseph P. Hughes, 1997. "Bank Capitalization and Cost: Evidence of Scale Economies in Risk Management and Signaling," Departmental Working Papers 199601, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Rebecca Demsetz & Marc R. Saidenberg & Philip E. Strahan, 1996. "Banks with something to lose: the disciplinary role of franchise value," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 1-14.
- Levy, Haim & Sarnat, Marshall, 1970. "Diversification, Portfolio Analysis and the Uneasy Case for Conglomerate Mergers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(4), pages 795-802, September.
- Smith, Clifford W. & Stulz, René M., 1985. "The Determinants of Firms' Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 391-405, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:98-2. 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: (Beth Paul)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.