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Bank failures, financial restrictions, and aggregate fluctuations: Canada and the United States, 1870-1913

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  • Stephen D. Williamson

Abstract

During 1870_1913, Canada had a well-diversified branch banking system while banks in the U.S. unit-banking system were less diversified. Canadian banks could issue large-denomination notes with no restrictions on their backing, while all U.S. currency was essentially an obligation of the U.S. government. Also, experience in the two countries with regard to bank failures and panics was quite different. A general equilibrium business cycle model with endogenous financial intermediation is constructed that captures these historical Canadian and American monetary and banking arrangements as special cases. The model's predictions contradict conventional wisdom about the cyclical effects of banking panics. Support for these predictions is found in aggregate annual time series data for Canada and the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen D. Williamson, 1989. "Bank failures, financial restrictions, and aggregate fluctuations: Canada and the United States, 1870-1913," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 20-40.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1989:i:sum:p:20-40:n:v.13no.3
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Josh Ryan-Collins, 2015. "Is Monetary Financing Inflationary? A Case Study of the Canadian Economy, 1935-75," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_848, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Chu, Kam Hon, 2015. "Bank consolidation and stability: The Canadian experience, 1867–1935," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 46-60.
    3. Cooper, Russell & Ejarque, Joao, 1995. "Financial intermediation and the Great Depression: a multiple equilibrium interpretation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 285-323, December.
    4. George Selgin, 2014. "Operation Twist-the-Truth: How the Federal Reserve Misrepresents Its History and Performance," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 34(2), pages 229-263, Spring/Su.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank failures ; Banks and banking - History ; Canada;

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