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Banking on a Religious Divide: Accounting for the Success of the Netherlands' Raiffeisen Cooperatives in the Crisis of the 1920s

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  • Colvin, Christopher L.

Abstract

This article investigates the impact of the socioreligious segregation of Dutch society on the asset allocation choices of rural bankers and the withdrawal behavior of their depositors during the early 1920s. Results suggest that cooperatively-owned Raiffeisen banks for both Catholic and Protestant minority groups could limit their exposure to a debt-deflation crisis, despite operating more precarious balance sheets than banks for majorities. Business histories demonstrate how strict membership criteria and personal guarantors acted as screening and monitoring devices. Banks serving minorities functioned as club goods, managing their exposure to the crisis by exploiting the confessionalized nature of Dutch society.

Suggested Citation

  • Colvin, Christopher L., 2017. "Banking on a Religious Divide: Accounting for the Success of the Netherlands' Raiffeisen Cooperatives in the Crisis of the 1920s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 866-919, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:77:y:2017:i:03:p:866-919_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Èric Gómez-i-Aznar, 2020. "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam. Numeracy levels in the Guarani Jesuit missions," Working Papers 0181, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. Colvin, Christopher L. & Henderson, Stuart & Turner, John D., 2018. "The origins of the (cooperative) species: Raiffeisen banking in the Netherlands, 1898-1909," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2018-03, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N84 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: 1913-
    • P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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