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Universal Banking in Historical Perspective


  • Richard Tilly


The paper offers a survey of the historical literature on the 19th and 20th century development of universal banking. It is basically a country-by-country survey with strong emphasis on Europe and the era of industrialization up to 1914. It concludes that universal banking, which can be interpreted as an efficient institutional response to problems of informational asymmetry, was a comparatively successful economic institution in the 19th century, less so in the 20th.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Tilly, 1998. "Universal Banking in Historical Perspective," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(1), pages 1-7, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(199803)154:1_7:ubihp_2.0.tx_2-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Corporate Governance: Some Theory and Implications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 678-689, May.
    2. Baker, Malcolm & Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2013. "Behavioral Corporate Finance: An Updated Survey," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Monnet, Cyril & Quintin, Erwan, 2007. "Why do financial systems differ? History matters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1002-1017, May.
    2. Stefano Battilossi, 2009. "Did governance fail universal banks? Moral hazard, risk taking, and banking crises in interwar Italy -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(s1), pages 101-134, August.
    3. Olivier Brossard & Hicham Chetioui, 2003. "Histoire longue : la naissance de la réglementation prudentielle, 1800-1945," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 73(4), pages 13-37.
    4. Timothy Guinnane, 2001. "Delegated Monitors, Large and Small: The Development of Germany’s Banking System, 1800-1914," CESifo Working Paper Series 565, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Mark Billings & Forrest Capie, 2011. "Financial crisis, contagion, and the British banking system between the world wars," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(2), pages 193-215.
    6. Dietrich, Diemo & Vollmer, Uwe, 2012. "Are universal banks bad for financial stability? Germany during the world financial crisis," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 123-134.
    7. Sebastian A.J. Keibek, 2016. "Using probate data to determine historical male occupational structures," Working Papers 26, Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge, revised 21 Mar 2017.
    8. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2001. "Delegated Monitors, Large and Small: The Development of Germany's Banking System, 1800-1914," Working Papers 835, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    9. repec:bla:ecnote:v:46:y:2017:i:1:p:53-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Alfred Reckendrees, 2015. "Weimar Germany: The first open access order that failed?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 38-60, March.
    11. Sandeep Baliga & Ben Polak, 1998. "Banks Versus Bonds: the Emergence and Persistence of Two Financial Systems," Discussion Papers 1221, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    12. Alex Stomper, 2006. "A Theory of Banks' Industry Expertise, Market Power, and Credit Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(10), pages 1618-1633, October.
    13. Nadia Bensaci, 2008. "L’analyse de la banque selon le paradigme de la finance et l’examen du modèle de banque universelle en France," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 91(1), pages 127-142.

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    JEL classification:

    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions


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