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Economies of Scale and Scope in China's Banking Sector

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Executive Summary

Employing the stochastic frontier approach and expansion path measures, this article estimates economies of scale and scope in China's banking sector during the period 1985 to 2002. The objective is to assess whether different ownership types and banking reforms affect economies of scale and scope. The traditional nonfrontier approach and the standard measures are also applied for comparison and completeness. The results indicate the presence of constant returns to scale and significant economies of scope for most joint stock banks throughout the period, and for state-owned banks in the later part of period, following a second set of bank reforms. There is evidence that use of the traditional nonfrontier model biases the measures of scale and scope economies.

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