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Bank Runs in the Free Banking Period


  • Hasan, Iftekhar
  • Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr


Free banks in the United States issued private banknotes without discretionary restriction of entry. Previous research suggests explanations for noteholders' relatively large losses and the substantial number of banks that closed. The authors examine these hypotheses and the hypothesis that contagious runs were important. The evidence provides no support for the importance of wildcat banking due to par versus market valuation of bond reserves; episodic, but not general, support for the importance of declining bond prices; and support for contagion effects and contemporaries' knowledge of them with little or no impact on the number of banks that closed. Copyright 1994 by Ohio State University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Hasan, Iftekhar & Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr, 1994. "Bank Runs in the Free Banking Period," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(2), pages 271-288, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:26:y:1994:i:2:p:271-88

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marvin Goodfriend & Monica Hargraves, 1983. "A historical assessment of the rationales and functions of reserve requirements," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Mar, pages 3-21.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld, 1988. "The Effectiveness of Foreign-Exchange Intervention: Recent Experience," NBER Working Papers 2796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gropp, Reint & Moerman, Gerard, 2004. "Measurement of contagion in banks' equity prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 405-459, April.
    2. De Bandt, Olivier & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "Systemic risk: A survey," Working Paper Series 0035, European Central Bank.
    3. Dwyer, Gerald Jr. & Hasan, Iftekhar, 2007. "Suspension of payments, bank failures, and the nonbank public's losses," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 565-580, March.
    4. Bougheas, Spiros, 1999. "Contagious bank runs," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 131-146, June.
    5. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Demandable Deposits and its Implications for Financial Regulation," NBER Working Papers 16620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ignacio Briones & Hugh Rockoff, 2005. "Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Free-Banking Episodes?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 2(2), pages 279-324, August.
    7. Dwyer Jr., Gerald P. & Samartín, Margarita, 2009. "Why do banks promise to pay par on demand?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-169, June.
    8. Dairo Estrada & Daniel Osorio, 2006. "A Market Risk Approach to Liquidity Risk and Financial Contagion," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 24(50), pages 242-271, Junio.
    9. Miller, V., 1998. "Domestic bank runs and speculative attacks on foreign currencies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 331-338, April.
    10. Yehning Chen & Iftekhar Hasan, 2008. "Why Do Bank Runs Look Like Panic? A New Explanation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 535-546, March.
    11. Anand, Kartik & Gauthier, Céline & Gai, Prasanna S. & Souissi, Moez, 2016. "Capturing information contagion in a stress-testing framework," Discussion Papers 29/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    12. Fricke, Daniel, 2010. "Contagion between European and US banks: Evidence from equity prices," Kiel Working Papers 1667, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2010. "Liquidity, Bank Runs, and Bailouts: Spillover Effects During the Northern Rock Episode," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 37(2), pages 83-98, June.
    14. Sánchez-Ballesta, Juan Pedro & Lloréns, Mercedes Bernal, 2010. "Monitoring, reputation and accountability in issuing banks in mid-nineteenth-century Spain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 403-419, October.
    15. Du, Julan & Li, David D., 2007. "The soft budget constraint of banks," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 108-135, March.
    16. A. Karas & K. Schoors & G. Lanine, 2008. "Liquidity matters: Evidence from the Russian interbank market," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/520, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    17. Klaus P. Fischer & Houcem Smaoui, 1997. "From Financial Liberalization to Banking Failure: Starting on the Wrong Foot?," Finance 9706005, EconWPA.
    18. Philipp Hartmann & Stefan Straetmans & Casper de Vries, 2007. "Banking System Stability. A Cross-Atlantic Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: The Risks of Financial Institutions, pages 133-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. repec:bdr:ensayo:v::y:2006:i:50:p:242-271 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Gerald P. Dwyer & R. W. Hafer, 2001. "Bank failures in banking panics: Risky banks or road kill?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2001-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    21. Hartmann, Philipp & Straetmans, Stefan & de Vries, Casper, 2005. "Banking system stability: a cross-Atlantic perspective," Working Paper Series 527, European Central Bank.
    22. Acharya, Viral V & Yorulmazer, Tanju, 2003. "Information Contagion and Inter-Bank Correlation in a Theory of Systemic Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 3743, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    23. Itai Agur, 2009. "What Institutional Structure for the Lender of Last Resort?," DNB Working Papers 200, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    24. Laurent Clerc & Alberto Giovannini & Sam Langfield & Tuomas Peltonen & Richard Portes & Martin Scheicher, 2016. "Indirect contagion: the policy problem," ESRB Occasional Paper Series 09, European Systemic Risk Board.

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