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Cost efficiency in the Chinese banking sector: a comparison of parametric and non-parametric methodologies

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posted on 21.04.2010, 08:32 by Yizhe Dong
Since the open door policy was embarked upon in 1979, China s banking sector has undergone gradual but notable reforms. A key objective of the reforms implemented by the Chinese government is to build an effective, competitive and stable banking system in order to improve its efficiency and reliability. This study employs both parametric stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) and non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) methods to assess and evaluate the cost efficiency of Chinese banks over the period from 1994 until 2007, a period characterised by far-reaching changes brought about by the banking reforms. To this end, we first compare a number of specifications of stochastic cost frontier models to determine the preferred frontier model which are adopted in our efficiency analysis. The preferred model specification for our sample is the one stage SFA model that includes the traditional input prices, the outputs and the control variables (that is, equity, non-performing loans and the time trend) in the cost frontier and the environmental variables (that is, ownership structure, size, deregulation, market structure and market discipline) in the inefficiency term. Moreover, we also employ two cost DEA models (traditional DEA and New DEA) as a complement to the preferred SFA model for methodological cross-checking purposes. Similar to the previous empirical literature, we find that in most cases only moderate consistency across the different techniques. The cost efficiency of Chinese banks is found to be 91% on average, based on our SFA model, over the period from 1994 until 2007. Based on the results of the DEA and New DEA models, the average cost efficiency for Chinese banks over the sample period is about 89% and 87%, respectively. We find that Chinese banking efficiency has deteriorated after China s admission to the WTO, suggesting that the significant external environmental changes which arose from China s WTO entry may have had a negative impact on its banking efficiency. In addition, we find that the majority of Chinese banks reveal scale inefficiencies and as asset size increases, banks tend to pass from increasing, to constant, and then to decreasing returns to scale. Our findings also show that both state-owned banks and foreign banks are more efficient than domestic private banks and larger banks tend to be relatively more efficient than smaller banks. These and other results suggest that in order to enhance Chinese banking efficiency, the government needs to continue with the banking reform process and in particular, to open up banking markets, to improve risk management and corporate governance in Chinese banks and to encourage the expansion of banks.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business


© Yizhe Dong

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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