The Savings of Ordinary Americans: The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
AbstractWe explore the savings behavior of ordinary Americans through their accounts at the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, the oldest mutual savings bank in the United States. Our sample contains all 2,374 accounts opened in 1850. Savings accounts were generally brief affairs, but median balances mounted to about three-quarters of annual income in three years. Deposits and withdrawals were infrequent, but substantial. Only female servants, as a group, used their accounts for life-cycle savings, eventually amassing large nest eggs. Men often used them to hold funds before acquiring physical property. We estimate saving rates between 10 and 15 percent on active accounts.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 54 (1994)
Issue (Month): 04 (December)
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Other versions of this item:
- George Alter & Claudia Goldin & Elyce Rotella, 1992. "The Savings of Ordinary Americans: The Philidelphia Saving Fund Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century," NBER Working Papers 4126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alter, George & Rotella, Elyce & Goldin, Claudia, 1994. "The Savings of Ordinary Americans: The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century," Scholarly Articles 2643655, Harvard University Department of Economics.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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- Chulhee Lee, 2000.
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Working Paper Series
no38, Institute of Economic Research, Seoul National University.
- Chulhee Lee, 2004. "Intra-household transfers and old-age security in America, 1890-1950," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 79-102.
- Mersland, Roy, 2005. "Microcredit for self-employed disabled persons in developing countries," MPRA Paper 2068, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Di Matteo, Livio, 2013. "Women, wealth and economic change: An assessment of the impact of women's property law in Wentworth County, Ontario, 1872–1927," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 285-307.
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