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Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Free-Banking Episodes?

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  • Ignacio Briones
  • Hugh Rockoff

Abstract

How should banks be regulated? Must governments tightly regulate banks to prevent financial panics, or is little or no regulation best? Can private banks be trusted to issue paper money or must this activity be a government monopoly? Theory can help answer these questions, but increasingly in recent years economists have turned to the natural experiments of history to find out how well free banking systems, or more accurately lightly regulated banking systems, have worked in practice. We now have numerous studies of lightly regulated banking in Scotland, the United States, Canada, and many other countries. As usual, research has produced new questions and heated controversies. The resulting ruckus tends to obscure the areas in which research has produced a consensus. Here we try to separate the areas where there is a consensus from areas where research is still in its early stages.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

Volume (Year): 2 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 279-324

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Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:2:y:2005:i:2:p:279-324

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Related research

Keywords: free banking; convertibility; bank regulation; lender of last resort; banking stability; historical experiences;

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Fink, 2014. "Free banking as an evolving system: The case of Switzerland reconsidered," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 57-69, March.
  2. Ogren, Anders, 2006. "Free or central banking? Liquidity and financial deepening in Sweden, 1834-1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 64-93, January.
  3. Mejía Cubillos, Javier, 2012. "Propuesta metodológica para el cálculo del riesgo sistémico financiero en estudios de Historia Económica: Aplicación para el caso de la banca libre en Antioquia, 1888
    [A methodology for assess
    ," MPRA Paper 35460, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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