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Market Contagion: Evidence from the Panics of 1854 and 1857

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  • Cormac O Grada
  • Morgan Kelly

Abstract

To test a model of contagion--where individuals hear some bad news and communicate it to their acquaintances, who then pass it on, leading to a market panic--requires a knowledge of the information networks of participants, something hitherto unavailable. For two panics in the 1850s this paper examines the behavior of Irish depositors in a New York bank. As recent immigrants, their social network was determined largely by their place of origin in Ireland, and where they lived in New York. During both panics this social network turns out to be the prime determinant of behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Cormac O Grada & Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Market Contagion: Evidence from the Panics of 1854 and 1857," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1110-1124, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:5:p:1110-1124
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.5.1110
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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