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Returns to scale at large banks in the US: A random coefficient stochastic frontier approach

Guohua Feng () and Xiaohui Zhang ()

Journal of Banking & Finance, 2014, vol. 39, issue C, 135-145

Abstract: This paper investigates the returns to scale of large banks in the US over the period 1997–2010. This investigation is performed by estimating a random coefficient stochastic distance frontier model in the spirit of Tsionas (2002) and Greene (2005, 2008). The primary advantage of this model is that its coefficients can vary across banks, thereby allowing for unobserved technology heterogeneity among large banks in the US We find that failure to consider unobserved technology heterogeneity results in a misleading ranking of banks and mismeasured returns to scale. Our results show that the majority of large banks in the US exhibit constant returns to scale. In addition, our results suggest that banks of the same size can have different levels of returns to scale and there is no clear pattern among large banks in the US concerning the relationship between asset size and returns to scale, due to the presence of technology heterogeneity.

Keywords: Returns to scale; Random coefficient stochastic distance frontier model; Bayesian estimation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C11 D24 G21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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