Scale and Scope Economies in Banking: A Case Study of the Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan

Publication Year : 1996

This paper examines the scale and scope efficiency of the Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan. Using the production approach to measuring bank outputs and costs, a translog cost function is estimated to provide an assessment of the bank’s scale and scope efficiency, and to quantify the extent to which its production costs are sensitive to size and output mix. Our results show that the bank enjoys both overall and product-specific economies of scale and, therefore, there exists scope for the bank to expand its operations at declining average cost. We show that even though bank branches in all size categories enjoy economies of scale, the extent of such economies is larger for branches operating at a smaller scale of production. This implies that as the bank branches grow larger in size in terms of both loan and deposit accounts, they move closer to attaining constant returns to scale. It is also shown that the marginal costs of servicing both loan and deposit accounts decline as bank branches grow larger in size in terms of either the number of loans or the number of deposits. This confirms that branches operating at a larger scale of production have attained greater cost efficiency in terms of servicing the loan and deposit accounts. As regards economies of scope, our results show that the bank’s production technology is characterised by cost complementarity, which gives rise to cost savings through the joint production of loan and deposit accounts.