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Bank Productivity in China 1997-2007: An Exercise in Measurement


  • Kent Matthews

    (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research, Cardiff University, Wales)

  • Nina Zhang

    (Citibank (China), Cardiff University, Wales)


This study examines the productivity growth of the nationwide banks of China and a sample of city commercial, banks for the eleven years to 2007. Estimates of total factor productivity growth are constructed with appropriate confidence intervals, using a bootstrap method for the Malmquist index. The study adjusts for the quality of the output by accounting for the non-performing loans on the balance sheets of the banks and tests for the robustness of the results by examining alternative sets of outputs. The productivity growth of the state-owned commercial banks (SOCBs) is compared with the joint-stock banks (JSCBs) and city commercial banks (CCBs). The weak average growth of TFP of the SOCBs disguises strong technical innovation. As a result, the inefficient banks have a greater efficiency gap to make up. This picture is similar but to a lesser extent for the JSCBs. In contrast the CCBs show strong TFP growth driven by efficiency gains and less so by technical innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Kent Matthews & Nina Zhang, 2009. "Bank Productivity in China 1997-2007: An Exercise in Measurement," Working Papers 252009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:252009

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Matthews, Kent & Zhang, Nina (Xu), 2010. "Bank productivity in China 1997-2007: Measurement and convergence," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 617-628, December.
    2. Twaha, Koire & Rashid, Abdul, 2012. "Exploring the determinants of the productivity of microfinance institutions in India," MPRA Paper 45715, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Bank Efficiency; Productivity; Malmquist Index; Bootstrap;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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