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Measuring and explaining the efficiencies of the United Arab Emirates banking system

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Using newly collected data from a survey distributed to all banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this article measures economic efficiency in the banking industry, namely allocative, technical, pure technical and scale efficiency. Employing a nonparametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach, the study estimates the efficiency for a cross section of the UAE banks in 2004. The results indicate that the dominant source of inefficiency in the UAE banking is stemming from allocative inefficiency rather than technical inefficiency. Furthermore, the main source of the relatively small size, technical inefficiency in the UAE banking industry is not the scale inefficiency but rather pure technical inefficiency. The results further indicate that the UAE banks are able to use their input resources more efficiently when they have more branches, and that newer banks are performing better than older banks on average. Moreover, the results also show that short experiences of employees affect efficiencies negatively and government ownership tends to reduce efficiency (as the government shares increase in the bank, the efficiency scores get lower). Finally, the most interesting results have to do with finding higher average efficiencies in banks that employ more women, more managers and less national citizens of the UAE.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, UAE University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates 2: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, 43210, United States of America 3: Department of Statistics, UAE University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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