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Are Branch Banks Better Survivors? Evidence from the Depression Era

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  • Mark Carlson

Abstract

It is widely argued in the literature on the Great Depression that the prevalence of unit banks aggravated the problem of financial instability that afflicted the United States. This article tests the theory that more widespread branch banking would have reduced financial turbulence by examining the survival of individual branch and unit banks. Results indicate that instead of being more likely to survive, branch banks were more likely to fail. Further investigation suggests that this higher failure rate occurred because branch banks systematically held riskier portfolios than unit banks. (JEL G21, G28, N22) Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 111-126

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:42:y:2004:i:1:p:111-126

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References

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  1. Charles W. Calomiris & Joseph R. Mason, 2000. "Causes of U.S. Bank Distress During the Depression," NBER Working Papers 7919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Grossman, Richard S., 1994. "The Shoe That Didn't Drop: Explaining Banking Stability During the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 654-682, September.
  3. David C. Wheelock, 1995. "Regulation, market structure and the bank failures of the Great Depression," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 27-38.
  4. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Efficient banking under interstate branching," Working Papers 96-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Coe, Patrick J, 2002. "Financial Crisis and the Great Depression: A Regime Switching Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 76-93, February.
  6. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "Financial Panics, the Seasonality of the Nominal Interest Rate, and theFounding of the Fed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 125-40, March.
  7. Rebecca S. Demsetz & Philip E. Strahan, 1995. "Historical patterns and recent changes in the relationship between bank holding company size and risk," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 13-26.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hugh Rockoff, 2003. "Deflation, Silent Runs, and Bank Holidays, in the Great Contraction," NBER Working Papers 9522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kris James Mitchener, 2006. "Are Prudential Supervision and Regulation Pillars of Financial Stability? Evidence from the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 12074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carlson, Mark & Mitchener, Kris James, 2006. "Branch Banking, Bank Competition, and Financial Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1293-1328, August.
  4. Aguirregabiria, Victor & Clark, Robert & Wang, Hui, 2014. "Diversification of Geographic Risk in Retail Bank Networks: Evidence from Bank Expansion after the Riegle-Neal Act," CEPR Discussion Papers 9816, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Colvin, Christopher L. & de Jong, Abe & Fliers, Philip T., 2014. "Predicting the past: Understanding the causes of bank distress in the Netherlands in the 1920s," QUCEH Working Paper Series 14-04, Queen's University Centre for Economic History, Queen's University Belfast.
  6. Mark Carlson, 2008. "Alternatives for distressed banks and the panics of the Great Depression," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-07, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Schnabel, Isabel, 2002. "The Great Banks` Depression - Deposit Withdrawals in the German Crisis of 1931," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-11, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  8. Gary Richardson & Patrick Van Horn, 2007. "Fetters of Debt, Deposit, or Gold during the Great Depression? The International Propagation of the Banking Crisis of 1931," NBER Working Papers 12983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marc Flandreau & Gabriel Geisler Mesevage, 2014. "The Separation of Information and Lending and the Rise of Rating Agencies in the United States," IHEID Working Papers 11-2014, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  10. Natacha Postel-Vinay, 2011. "From a “normal recession” to the “Great Depression”: finding the turning point in Chicago bank portfolios, 1923-1933," Economic History Working Papers 35518, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  11. Charles W. Calomiris & Joseph R. Mason, 2003. "Fundamentals, Panics, and Bank Distress During the Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1615-1647, December.
  12. Isabel Schnabel, 2005. "The Role of Liquidity and Implicit Guarantees in the German Twin Crisis of 1931," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2005_5, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  13. Kris James Mitchener, 2004. "Bank Supervision, Regulation, and Instability During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 10475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mark Billings & Forrest Capie, 2011. "Financial crisis, contagion, and the British banking system between the world wars," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(2), pages 193-215.
  15. Sarah Sanya & Simon Wolfe, 2011. "Can Banks in Emerging Economies Benefit from Revenue Diversification?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 79-101, October.
  16. Mark Carlson & Kris James Mitchener, 2007. "Branch Banking as a Device for Discipline: Competition and Bank Survivorship During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 12938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Gary Richardson, 2006. "Bank Distress During the Great Contraction, 1929 to 1933, New Data from the Archives of the Board of Governors," NBER Working Papers 12590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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