In this study, we adopt Wang’s (2002) heteroscedastic stochastic frontier model, which allows us to investigate bank cost efficiency and to measure the marginal effects of some variables on both the level and the variability of inefficiency. In recent years, the financial crisis has significantly affected the banking systems of the transition countries. Hence, the efficiency is of major importance for the stability of the banks. Regarding the determinants of efficiency, we find evidence that banks that follow a more cautious strategy, characterized by lower risk appetite and average expectations on profitability, have higher cost efficiency. We also find that traditional deposit-taking and loan-making still remain the most efficient activity of the banks. Additionally, the results showed that a higher Gross Domestic Product growth rate implies an increase in the inefficiency level, indicating an unsustainable bank management behaviour, which in periods of economic growth adopts policies that can generate inefficiency in order to gain market share and to obtain higher bonuses. Country cost efficiency results show significant differences. The banking systems in transition countries in South Eastern Asia appear to have a higher cost efficiency level. Also, the effects of the financial crisis were less significant in this region.
- banking; stochastic frontier analysis; cost efficiency; risk-taking
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cristispulbar/14/