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Banking sector output and labour productivity in six European countries


  • Leena Mörttinen

    (European Central Bank)


This paper contributes to the discussion on the measurement of banking sector output. It is also a prelude to discussion on possible causes of productivity change in banking. We demonstrate how the banking sector’s service production can be measured using aggregate financial statement and payment transactions data. We compute banking sector labour productivity Tornqvist indices for six countries (Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy) over a period varying from 11 to 20 years. According to the results, Finnish banking sector productivity has improved via a substantial reduction size of labour force, whereas output growth has been rather modest. Although in most of the other countries the restructuring process has been less intense, most of the sectors studied have improved in terms of overall output and labour productivity, especially since the mid-1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Leena Mörttinen, 2004. "Banking sector output and labour productivity in six European countries," Finance 0405023, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0405023
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen, Robert C & Diewert, W Erwin, 1981. "Direct versus Implicit Superlative Index Number Formulae," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 430-435, August.
    2. Kim, Moshe, 1986. "Banking technology and the existence of a consistent output aggregate," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 181-195, September.
    3. Charles R. Hulten, 2000. "Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography," NBER Working Papers 7471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1992. "Measurement and Efficiency Issues in Commercial Banking," NBER Chapters,in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 245-300 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sherman, H. David & Gold, Franklin, 1985. "Bank branch operating efficiency : Evaluation with Data Envelopment Analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 297-315, June.
    6. Colwell, R J & Davis, E P, 1992. " Output and Productivity in Banking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages 111-129, Supplemen.
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    More about this item


    banks; service production; productivity;

    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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