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Free banking and bank entry in nineteenth-century New York

  • Bodenhorn, Howard

Previous studies of entry under New York's free banking law of 1838 have generated conflicting results. This article shows that different measures of entry lead to different conclusions about the competitive effects of the law. Measured by the entry of new banks, New York's free banking law led to increased rates of entry relative to other states. Free banking did not, however, lead to significant increases in capital accumulation in the industry. This paradoxical outcome resulted from the regulatory features of free banking, especially the bond security feature, which reduced profitability and incentives to invest in banking.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Financial History Review.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 02 (October)
Pages: 175-201

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Handle: RePEc:cup:fihrev:v:15:y:2008:i:02:p:175-201_00
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  1. Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1947. "The Beginning of Competitive Banking in Philadelphia, 1782-1809," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 417.
  2. Charles W. Calomiris, 1989. "Deposit insurance: lessons from the record," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue May, pages 10-30.
  3. Howard Bodenhorn, 2006. "Bank Chartering and Political Corruption in Antebellum New York. Free Banking as Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 231-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bodenhorn, Howard & Haupert, Michael, 1996. "The Note Issue Paradox in the Free Banking Era," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 687-693, September.
  5. Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 1988. "Inventive Activity in Early Industrial America: Evidence From Patent Records, 1790–1846," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 813-850, December.
  6. Bodenhorn, Howard, 1999. "An Engine of Growth: Real Bills and Schumpeterian Banking in Antebellum New York," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 278-302, July.
  7. Howard Bodenhorn, 1998. "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 7-24, Winter.
  8. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "Durable-Goods Monopolists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 314-32, April.
  9. Robert B. Litterman, 1983. "Optimal control of the money supply," Staff Report 82, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1982. "Free banking, wildcat banking, and shinplasters," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  11. Bodenhorn, Howard & Haupert, Michael, 1995. "Was There a Note Issue Conundrum in the Free Banking Era?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 702-12, August.
  12. Bodenhorn, Howard, 1993. "The Business Cycle and Entry into Early American Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 531-35, August.
  13. Bodenhorn, Howard, 1990. "Entry, Rivalry and Free Banking in Antebellum America," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 682-86, November.
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