Pricing Inputs and Outputs in Banking: An Application to CEE Countries


  • Maryam Hasannasab Research Fellow
  • Dimitris Margaritis Professor-Finance



directional distance function, bank efficiency, shadow prices, CEE banking


Aim: A problem in efficiency and productivity studies in banking is that some of the input and output prices used in the estimation of cost, revenue and profit functions are proxies of questionable quality with obvious impact on the reliability of performance measures. We address this issue focussing on the banking systems of Central and Eastern Europe where arguable this problem may even be more acute.

Design / Research methods: We employ parametric forms of directional distance functions to obtain shadow prices of bank inputs and outputs, and compare them with price proxies typically employed in empirical studies. The key idea here is to exploit cost, revenue and profit maximisation as the optimisation criteria to derive pricing rules, which allow us to find shadow prices for both inputs and outputs. We show how knowledge of one input price can be used to price outputs and how knowledge of one output price can be used to price inputs along with information on input and output quantities. We also use total cost to shadow price inputs and total revenue to shadow price outputs.

Conclusions/findings: We find differences between shadow prices and actual prices suggesting that input and/or output mix may not be consistent with cost minimisation or revenue and profit maximisation. We also find that bank efficiency is highest on average in Estonia, which also boasts the highest bank capitalisation rate in the CEE region.

Originality/value of the article: The study departs from the traditional literature on efficiency and productivity by focussing on pricing and their implications thereof for input-output mix.

Implications of the research (if applicable): Prices for problem loans are not observable, hence our approach provides an avenue for computing shadow prices for bad outputs in banking. This is important since it gives us an indication of the loss of good output needed to lower the bad output by one unit.



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