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Competition Necessarily Tends to Produce Excess: The Experience of Free Banking in Switzerland

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  • Manfred Neldner

Abstract

According to McCulloch, Longfield and Loyd, a free banking system is always prone to overissues of bank notes. Their view is supported by the free banking era in Switzerland (1826-1907), where, due to competitive pressures within the banking community and the absence of note-brand loyalty on the part of the general public, overissues (causing a rise in the foreign exchange rates above the upper gold and silver points) finally became permanent. Free competition, therefore, had to give way to collusive action and, in 1907 (with the open consent of the issuing banks), to the establishment of the Swiss National Bank. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Manfred Neldner, 2003. "Competition Necessarily Tends to Produce Excess: The Experience of Free Banking in Switzerland," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4, pages 389-408, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:4:y:2003:i::p:389-408
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1987. "Has Government Any Role in Money?," NBER Chapters,in: Money in Historical Perspective, pages 289-314 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Selgin, George, 1994. "Free Banking and Monetary Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1449-1459, November.
    3. George A. Selgin & Lawrence H. White, 1994. "How Would the Invisible Hand Handle Money?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1718-1749, December.
    4. Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1979. "On the Mark: A Theory of Floating Exchange Rates Based on Real Interest Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 610-622, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Fink, 2014. "Free banking as an evolving system: The case of Switzerland reconsidered," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 57-69, March.

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