A comparative study of efficiency in European banking
This thesis investigates whether there has been an improvement and convergence of productive efficiency across European banking markets since the creation of the Single Internal Market: it examines the main European banking systems between 1993 and 1997 and estimates the efficiency characteristics of these markets by employing nonparametric estimation techniques, in the form of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and the Free Disposal Hull (FDH) approach. In addition, this study also evaluates the productivity change across banking markets employing the Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI). Using efficiency measures derived from DEA estimation, it also evaluates the determinants of European bank efficiency using the Tobit regression model approach. Finally, this thesis extends the established literature on modelling the determinants of bank efficiency by recognising the problem of the inherent dependency of DEA efficiency scores when used in regression analysis. To overcome the dependency problem, a bootstrapping technique is applied. Overall, the results suggest that since the EU's Single Market Programme there has been a small improvement in bank efficiency levels, although there is little evidence to suggest that these have converged. The results also suggest that inference on the determinants of bank efficiency drawn from non-bootstrapped regression analysis may be biased and misleading.