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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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    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. Cormac Ó Gráda & Eugene N. White, 2002. "Who panics during panics? Evidence from a nineteenth century savings bank," Working Papers 200212, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
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    4. V.V. Chari & Ravi Jagannathan, 1984. "Banking Panics," Discussion Papers 618, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    5. Joseph P. Ferrie, 1999. "Yankeys Now: Immigrants in the Antebellum U.S. 1840-1860," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ferr99-1, April.
    6. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Mendoza, Enrique G., 1996. "Mexico's balance-of-payments crisis: a chronicle of a death foretold," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 235-264, November.
    7. 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.
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    10. Alter, George & Goldin, Claudia & Rotella, Elyce, 1994. "The Savings of Ordinary Americans: The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 735-767, December.
    11. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan & Wermers, Russ, 1995. "Momentum Investment Strategies, Portfolio Performance, and Herding: A Study of Mutual Fund Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
    12. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1988. "Banking panics, information, and rational expectations equilibrium," Working Papers 320, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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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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