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The competition and coexistence of mutual and commercial banks in New England, 1870–1914


  • Matthew Jaremski

    () (Department of Economics, Colgate University NBER)

  • Brady Plastaras

    () (Department of Economics, Colgate University)


Scholars have studied the US banking systems of the late nineteenth century, but the presence and influence of mutual savings banks has largely gone unexamined. A new annual database of New England banks shows that mutual savings banks had a significant presence in the postbellum banking system. Mutual savings banks accounted for about 75 % of the region’s total bank deposits and largely avoided financial panics. The banks seemed to have complemented rather than competed with national banks. Mutual savings bank growth was correlated with agriculture and urbanization, whereas national bank growth was correlated with manufacturing. Mutual savings banks also channeled significant funds to national banks through the interbank network.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Jaremski & Brady Plastaras, 2016. "The competition and coexistence of mutual and commercial banks in New England, 1870–1914," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 10(2), pages 151-179, may.
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:10:y:2016:i:2:p:151-179

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Mutual savings banks Bank stability National Banking Era Bank competition;

    JEL classification:

    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill


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