The current paper constructs a Fourier flexible cost function, which is commonly known to be a more general function form than the typical translog form, and can globally approximate a true (but unknown) cost function. Both allocative and technical inefficiencies are considered using the Fourier function in the context of the parametric approach. The former is modeled using shadow input prices and the latter is formulated either by adding an extra term of scale parameter (when the Farrell's (1957) input technical inefficiency is assumed), or by correcting all the terms involving output quantities by a scale parameter (when the Farrell's output technical inefficiency is assumed). It is found that sample banks could save up to 23% of total costs, within the range of 3 and 69% uncovered by the previous works, in which allocative inefficiency plays a more important role than technical inefficiency. Furthermore, the cost of misallocated labor input alone constitutes more than 80% of total allocative inefficiency. Financial deregulation starting from 1991 in Taiwan appears to have improved economic efficiency of the banking industry.
Journal of Productivity Analysis 22(1-2), pp.123-142