The semiparametric geographically weighted regression (GWR) analysis showed that before the financial crisis, a higher degree of financial industry agglomeration enabled banks to benefit more from agglomeration economies, which led to the banks’ improved cost efficiency. The effect was particularly significant for Chongqing and nearby western region as well as for Beijing and the nearby Bohai Economic Rim. However, following the financial crisis, market size became essential for improving the banks' cost efficiency; such a phenomenon was significantly prominent in Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shanxi, and Gansu, four provinces with the degree of industrial agglomeration higher than their financial industry agglomeration. Regarding the banks' profit efficiency, before the financial crisis, regions with frequent economic and trade activities (e.g., Sichuan and Chongqing in west region and the eastern coastal region) had a higher financial industry agglomeration that resulted in superior profit efficiency.
Journal of Quantitative Finance and Economics 2(2), p.75-100