David C. Wheelock
Paul W. Wilson

the evolution of scale economies in us banking (replication data)

Continued consolidation of the US banking industry and a general increase in the size of banks have prompted some policymakers to consider policies that discourage banks from getting larger, including explicit caps on bank size. However, limits on the size of banks could entail economic costs if they prevent banks from achieving economies of scale. This paper presents new estimates of returns to scale for US banks based on nonparametric, local-linear estimation of bank cost, revenue, and profit functions. We report estimates for both 2006 and 2015 to compare returns to scale some 7 years after the financial crisis and 5 years after enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act with returns to scale before the crisis. We find that a high percentage of banks faced increasing returns to scale in cost in both years, including most of the 10 largest bank holding companies. Also, while returns to scale in revenue and profit vary more across banks, we find evidence that the largest four banks operate under increasing returns to scale.

Data and Resources

Suggested Citation

Wheelock, David C.; Wilson, Paul W. (2018): The evolution of scale economies in US banking (replication data). Version: 1. Journal of Applied Econometrics. Dataset. http://dx.doi.org/10.15456/jae.2022326.0708197775