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Causes of bank suspensions in the panic of 1893

  • Carlson, Mark

There are two competing theories explaining bank panics. One argues that panics are driven by real shocks, asymmetric information, and concerns about insolvency. The other theory argues that bank runs are self-fulfilling, driven by illiquidity and the beliefs of depositors. This paper tests predictions of these two theories using information uniquely available for the Crisis of 1893. The results suggest that real economic shocks were important determinants of the location of panics at the national level, however at the local level, both insolvency and illiquidity were important as triggers of bank panics.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 42 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 56-80

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:42:y:2005:i:1:p:56-80
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. Glick, Reuven & Rose, Andrew K., 1999. "Contagion and trade: Why are currency crises regional?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 603-617, August.
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  8. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "Financial Panics, the Seasonality of the Nominal Interest Rate, and theFounding of the Fed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 125-40, March.
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  10. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
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  12. Calomiris, Charles W & Mason, Joseph R, 1997. "Contagion and Bank Failures during the Great Depression: The June 1932 Chicago Banking Panic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 863-83, December.
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  14. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1988. "Banking panics, information, and rational expectations equilibrium," Working Papers 320, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  17. Neil Wallace, 1988. "Another attempt to explain an illiquid banking system: the Diamond and Dybvig model with sequential service taken seriously," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 3-16.
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