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Ownership Structure and Building Society Efficiency




This paper investigates the effect of ownership structure on the cost efficiency of Australian building societies using the stochastic econometric frontier approach. Contrary to the expense preference hypothesis, mutually owned societies we found to be, on average, more cost efficient than those under stock ownership. Moreover, mutual and stoc-owned societies have significantly different cost functions or production technologies. The results are consistent with U.S. results of Mester (1993).

Suggested Citation

  • Tiffany Hutcheson & Ian Sharpe, 1997. "Ownership Structure and Building Society Efficiency," Working Paper Series 78, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:wpaper:78

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Binswanger, Hans P., 1973. "A Cost Function Approach To The Measurement Of Factor Demand Elasticities And Elasticities Of Substitution," Staff Papers 13478, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. Hunter, William C & Timme, Stephen G, 1991. "Technological Change in Large U.S. Commercial Banks," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(3), pages 339-362, July.
    5. Noulas, Athanasios G & Ray, Subhash C & Miller, Stephen M, 1990. "Returns to Scale and Input Substitution for Large U.S. Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages 94-108, February.
    6. Kane, Edward J. & Kaufman, George G., 1993. "Incentive conflict in deposit-institution regulation: evidence from Australia," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 13-29, March.
    7. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-1177, December.
    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 435-444, June.
    9. Mester, Loretta J., 1993. "Efficiency in the savings and loan industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 267-286, April.
    10. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    11. English, M. & Grosskopf, S. & Hayes, K. & Yaisawarng, S., 1993. "Output allocative and technical efficiency of banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 349-366, April.
    12. Jeffrey A. Clark, 1988. "Economies of scale and scope at depository financial institutions: a review of the literature," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Sep, pages 16-33.
    13. Lawrence, Colin, 1989. "Banking Costs, Generalized Functional Forms, and Estimation of Economies of Scale and Scope," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 368-379, August.
    14. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    15. 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.
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    More about this item


    cost efficiency; ownership diffusion;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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