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Contagion and Bank Failures during the Great Depression: The June 1932 Chicago Banking Panic

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  • Calomiris, Charles W
  • Mason, Joseph R

Abstract

The authors examine the social costs of asymmetric-information-induced bank panics in an environment without government deposit insurance. Their case study is the Chicago bank panic of June 1932. The authors compare the ex ante characteristics of panic failures and panic survivors. Despite temporary confusion about bank asset quality on the part of depositors during the panic, which was associated with widespread depositor runs and bank stock price declines, the panic did not produce significant social costs in terms of failures among solvent banks. Copyright 1997 by American Economic Association.

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  • Calomiris, Charles W & Mason, Joseph R, 1997. "Contagion and Bank Failures during the Great Depression: The June 1932 Chicago Banking Panic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 863-883, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:87:y:1997:i:5:p:863-83
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
    3. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
    4. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    5. Calomiris, Charles W. & Schweikart, Larry, 1991. "The Panic of 1857: Origins, Transmission, and Containment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(04), pages 807-834, December.
    6. Bhattacharya Sudipto & Thakor Anjan V., 1993. "Contemporary Banking Theory," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 2-50, October.
    7. Calomiris, Charles W., 1990. "Is Deposit Insurance Necessary? A Historical Perspective," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(02), pages 283-295, June.
    8. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    9. Charles W. Calomiris & Charles M. Kahn & Stefan Krasa, 1991. "Optimal contingent bank liquidation under moral hazard," Working Paper Series, Issues in Financial Regulation 91-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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