Causes of U.S. bank distress during the depression
AbstractThis paper provides the first comprehensive econometric analysis of the causes of bank distress during the Depression. We assemble bank-level data for virtually all Fed member banks, and combine those data with county-level, state-level, and national-level economic characteristics to capture cross-sectional and inter-temporal variation in the determinants of bank failure. We construct a model of bank survival duration using these fundamental determinants of bank failure as predictors, and investigate the adequacy of fundamentals for explaining bank failures during alleged episodes of nationwide or regional banking panics. We find that fundamentals explain most of the incidence of bank failure, and argue that contagion' or liquidity crises' were a relatively unimportant influence on bank failure risk prior to 1933. We construct upper-bound measures of the importance of contagion or liquidity crises. At the national level, we find that the first two banking crises identified by Friedman and Schwartz in 1930 and 1931 are not associated with positive unexplained residual failure risk, or with changes in the importance of liquidity measures for forecasting bank failures. The third banking crisis they identify is a more ambiguous case, but even if one views it as a bona fide national liquidity crisis, the size of the contagion effect could not have been very large. The last banking crisis they identify at the beginning of 1933 is associated with important, unexplained increases in bank failure risk. We also investigate the potential role of regional or local contagion and illiquidity crises for promoting bank failure and find some evidence in support of such effects, but these are of small importance in the aggregate. We also investigate the causes of bank distress measured as deposit contraction, using county-level measures of deposits of all commercial banks, and reach similar conclusions about the importance of fundamentals in determining deposit contraction.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Proceedings with number 714.
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Conference on Bank Structure and Competition (2001 : 37th) ; The financial net: costs, benefits, and implications for regulation
Contact details of provider:
Postal: P.O. Box 834, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-0834
Web page: http://www.chicagofed.org/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
- N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
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.:
- Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, .
"The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
11-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, 1991. "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 109-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joseph R. Mason, 1998. "American banks during the Great Depression: a new research agenda," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 151-152.
- Charles W. Calomiris & Joseph R. Mason, 2003. "Consequences of Bank Distress During the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 937-947, June.
- Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, December.
- Imbens, G W, 1994. "Transition Models in a Non-stationary Environment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 703-20, November.
- Friedman, Milton & Schwartz, Anna J., 1986. "The failure of the bank of United States: A reappraisal : A reply," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 199-204, April.
- Lucia, Joseph L., 1985. "The failure of the bank of United States: A reappraisal," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 402-416, October.
- Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
- Ramirez, Carlos D., 2003. "Did branch banking restrictions increase bank failures? Evidence from Virginia and West Virginia in the late 1920s," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 331-352.
- Esbitt, Milton, 1986. "Bank Portfolios and Bank Failures During the Great Depression: Chicago," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 455-462, June.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernie Flores).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.